Tiffany Quay Tyson is an award-winning novelist, humor writer, and teacher.

She is the author of two novels including The Past is Never, winner of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, and the Mississippi Author Award. Her debut novel, Three Rivers, was published in 2015 and was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award and the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction. Humor pieces appear in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Rumpus “Funny Women” column, The Belladonna Comedy, The Establishment, Slackjaw, and more. Shorter fiction can be found at SmokeLong Quarterly, The Ilanot Review, The Tulane Review, and elsewhere.

Tiffany is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. After college she worked for a brief stint as a newspaper reporter in the Mississippi Delta, where she received the Frank Allen Award for Journalism. She is the recipient of two Heartland Emmy Awards including one for writing for a children’s public television program. She is a faculty member at Lighthouse Writers Workshop and was the recipient of the Beacon Award for Teaching Excellence in 2021. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado.


Winner of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, and the Mississippi Author Award.

The Past is Never is a suspenseful Southern Gothic novel steeped in local lore that begins when three siblings head out for a swim in a forbidden rock quarry in the Mississippi Delta. Only two will return from that fateful outing. The search for their missing sister will lead brother and sister through haunted woods, mangrove tunnels, and Florida swamps, as they work to unravel family secrets. Chosen as an “Okra Pick” by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.


Melody Mahaffey, trapped into touring for years with a third-rate Christian pop band she can hardly stand, is almost relieved to receive her mother’s distress call. But when she returns home to care for her dying father and brain-damaged brother at the sprawling, defunct Three Rivers Farm, Melody is shocked to discover that her mother has abandoned the family. Sure that her daughter will do the right thing, Geneva has left to seek spiritual guidance and break things off with her long-time lover.

Rain begins to fall and an epic flood threatens the Mississippi Delta. While Melody tries to get a handle on the chaos at home, a man and his little boy are squatting on her land, escaping their own nightmare. Obi is on the run from a horrific mistake, and he’s intent on keeping his son with him at any cost. When the storm arrives, though, they have no choice but to take shelter in Melody’s house. And the waters just keep rising.

A lifetime of lies, misunderstandings and dark secrets bubble to the surface as the flood destroys the land and threatens their lives. Set against the fertile but dangerous landscape of the rural south near the fictional town of White Forest, Mississippi, Three Rivers beautifully weaves together three parallel stories, told over three days, as each character is propelled headlong into the storm.

Tiffany Quay Tyson