When the Great Flood of 1927 devastates Mississippi, eight-year-old Robert Chatham loses everything. Robert's adventures in the brooding swamplands -- from hard labour to imprisonment to thwarted love -- are full of courage, danger and heartbreak. This is story of how a small, hurt boy becomes a tough, young man: forced to choose between the lure of the future and the claims of his past. Set against one of the great American landscapes, Southern Cross the Dog is a mesmerizing and savagely beautiful novel. It marks the arrival of Bill Cheng as a writer of astonishing gifts.