Nine stories illuminate what it means to be Mormon and how faith serves to humanize, in a work that includes a seriocomic portrait of a young Joseph Smith.
Nine stories illuminate what it means to be Mormon and how faith serves to humanize, in a work that includes a seriocomic portrait of a young Joseph Smith.
From the winner of 2014’s PEN Robert W. Bingham Prize, an unforgettable debut novel about Loretta, a teenager married off as a “sister wife,” who makes a break for freedom At the heart of this exciting debut novel, set in Arizona and Idaho in the mid-1970s, is fifteen-year-old Loretta, who slips out of her bedroom every evening to meet her so-called gentile boyfriend. Her strict Mormon parents catch her returning one night, and promptly marry her off to Dean Harder, a devout yet materialistic fundamentalist who already has a wife and a brood of kids. The Harders relocate to his native Idaho, where Dean’s teenage nephew Jason falls hard for Loretta. A Zeppelin and Tolkien fan, Jason worships Evel Knievel and longs to leave his close-minded community. He and Loretta make a break for it. They drive all night, stay in hotels, and relish their dizzying burst of teenage freedom as they seek to recover Dean’s cache of “Mormon gold.” But someone Loretta left behind is on their trail... A riveting story of desire and escape, Daredevils boasts memorable set pieces and a rich cast of secondary characters. There’s Dean’s other wife, Ruth, who as a child in the 1950s was separated from her parents during the notorious Short Creek raid, when federal agents descended on a Mormon fundamentalist community. There’s Jason’s best friend, Boyd, part Native American and caught up in the activist spirit of the time, who comes along for the ride, with disastrous results. And Vestal’s ultimate creation is a superbly sleazy chatterbox—a man who might or might not be Evel Knievel himself—who works his charms on Loretta at a casino in Elko, Nevada. A lifelong journalist whose Spokesman column is a fixture in Spokane, WA, Shawn has honed his fiction over many years, publishing in journals like McSweeney's and Tin House. His stunning first collection, Godforsaken Idaho, burrowed into history as it engaged with masculinity and crime, faith and apostasy, and the West that he knows so well. Daredevils shows what he can do on a broader canvas--a fascinating, wide-angle portrait of a time and place that's both a classic coming of age tale and a plunge into the myths of America, sacred and profane.
In I’m Fine, But You Appear to Be Sinking the strange and the mundane collide. These are stories of strange experiences set in familiar places, and of familiar experiences set in strange places. Many of the pieces in I’m Fine take place close to home, in suburban neighborhoods, or rural communities. The settings are conventional, yet something unexpected, or even magical, is occurring. In one piece, a couple speculates about random objects that appear without reason in their backyard. In another, neighbors try to figure out if a local meth dealer is keeping a live tiger captive on his property. In other pieces, it’s the setting that’s fantastical, but the characters’ reactions that remain ordinary, like in the titular story where a journalist lost at sea and hunted by a mythical ocean creature admits to struggling with loneliness and isolation in much the same way he does even when he’s safe at home. Although they are not directly linked by any specific character, the pieces in this collection are bound through reoccurring imagery and a shared theme of protagonists in emotional peril. There are unexpected appearances and disappearances, movement of inanimate objects, the search for something lost, the finding of something unusual. There are prophesies, dreams, unidentifiable creatures, and environmental catastrophes on a scale both large and small. There are action figures and octopuses, sullen teenagers and missing cats. At their core, these stories are imbued with mystery, oddity, humor, and empathy. They each stand on their own, but mean considerably more when read together.
After a car crash steals the lives of two people they love, Becca and Johnny become obsessed with a common cause. Officially, the crash is an accident. But Becca and Johnny are convinced: someone did this. As they plot revenge against the person responsible, a bond—intense, unyielding, and manic—takes hold of them. And in an unexpected turn of events, they fall for each other. Or so they think. In an upside-down world where decay is beautiful and love and hate become one, Becca and Johnny find themselves grappling with reality. Nothing is exactly what it seems, including what they’ve come to believe about the crash. The question is: will they learn the truth before it’s too late? No, the question is: when they learn the truth, will they care?
In this first book-length environmental history of the American Civil War, Lisa M. Brady argues that ideas about nature and the environment were central to the development and success of Union military strategy. From the start of the war, both sides had to contend with forces of nature, even as they battled one another. Northern soldiers encountered unfamiliar landscapes in the South that suggested, to them, an uncivilized society's failure to control nature. Under the leadership of Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Philip Sheridan, the Union army increasingly targeted southern environments as the war dragged on. Whether digging canals, shooting livestock, or dramatically attempting to divert the Mississippi River, the Union aimed to assert mastery over nature by attacking the most potent aspect of southern identity and power--agriculture. Brady focuses on the siege of Vicksburg, the 1864 Shenandoah Valley campaign, marches through Georgia and the Carolinas, and events along the Mississippi River to examine this strategy and its devastating physical and psychological impact. Before the war, many Americans believed in the idea that nature must be conquered and subdued. Brady shows how this perception changed during the war, leading to a wider acceptance of wilderness. Connecting environmental trauma with the onset of American preservation, Brady pays particular attention to how these new ideas of wilderness can be seen in the creation of national battlefield memorial parks as unaltered spaces. Deftly combining environmental and military history with cultural studies, War upon the Land elucidates an intriguing, largely unexplored side of the nation's greatest conflict.
A sleek, fast-paced story of high school boys in Tacoma, their anointed leader and the decision to find a way out. The new novel from Eric Barnes, author of IndieNext selection SHIMMER.
In his evocative debut novel Carl Nordgren weaves an ambitious tale about the power of dreams, the hope of new beginnings, and the dangers of ghosts who haunt our past.In The 53rd Parallel, book one of the River of Lakes series, Brian Burke emigrates from 1950s West Ireland to the wilderness of Northwest Ontario with his partner Maureen O’Toole. He’s been exiled from his village, and she is running from her IRA past.The dreams of an Ojibway clan elder bring the Irish to the sacred place on the River, where they build The Great Lodge of Innish Cove. The dreams tell of a white man who will destroy the River and another who will protect it. While the Ojibway believe Brian and Maureen are the River’s guardians, Maureen’s IRA connections and the construction of a pulp mill upstream threaten to destroy the newly created Eden before it even begins.Under the watchful eye of a warrior spirit, the clan and their Irish companions risk all they love to protect the River and the promises it holds for their future. The fates of the two groups will intertwine as both seek to ward off the encroachment of the modern world.In The 53rd Parallel readers will find a rich tapestry that weaves together the literary influences of such giants as Peter Matthiessen, Ken Kesey, Jack London, and Ernest Hemingway (who briefly appears in Book 2 of the River of Lakes series).
When the present offers no hope for the future, the answers may lie in the past AJ Flynn has just failed all but one of his GCSEs, and his future is looking far from rosy. So when he is offered a junior position at a London law firm he hopes his life is about to change - but he could never have imagined by how much. Tidying up the archive one day, AJ finds an old key, mysteriously labelled with his name and date of birth - and he becomes determined to find the door that fits the key. And so begins an amazing journey to a very real and tangible past - 1830, to be precise - where the streets of modern Clerkenwell are replaced with cobbles and carts, and the law can be twisted to suit a villain's means. Although life in 1830 is cheap, AJ and his friends quickly find that their own lives have much more value. They've gone from sad youth statistics to young men with purpose - and at the heart of everything lies a crime that only they can solve. But with enemies all around, can they unravel the mysteries of the past, before it unravels them? A fast-paced mystery novel by one of the country's finest writers, and a UKLA Book Awards 2016 shortlisted title, THE DOOR THAT LED TO WHERE will delight, surprise and mesmerise all those who read it.
Confused about conflicting health information? Wondering if you are making the best health decisions for you and your family? Many common ideas about health are based on popular fads that are altogether false. These popular theories may cost you time, money, and most importantly, your health.Improve your life by changing the way you think about wellness, food, thoughts, everyday chemicals, mainstream health hype, and health care. This is your guide to easily and confidently incorporating healthy decisions into your life.- If you think that being thin is all that matters (myth #1), consider your health is not determined by how much or how little you weigh.- If you think you are sick because you aren't taking the right drug or haven't had the right surgery, consider that the real cause is often found at a deeper level.- If you think that a low-fat or no-fat diet keeps you skinny and healthy, consider it may actually help you put on the weight and may make you unhealthy.
A career-spanning collection of critical essays and cultural journalism from one of the most acute, entertaining, and sometimes acerbic (but in a good way) critics of our time From his early-seventies dispatches as a fledgling critic for The Village Voice on rock ’n’ roll, comedy, movies, and television to the literary criticism of the eighties and nineties that made him both feared and famous to his must-read reports on the cultural weather for Vanity Fair, James Wolcott has had a career as a freelance critic and a literary intellectual nearly unique in our time. This collection features the best of Wolcott in whatever guise—connoisseur, intrepid reporter, memoirist, and necessary naysayer—he has chosen to take on. Included in this collection is “O.K. Corral Revisited,” a fresh take on the famed Norman Mailer–Gore Vidal dustup on The Dick Cavett Show that launched Wolcott from his Maryland college to New York City (via bus) to begin his brilliant career. His prescient review of Patti Smith’s legendary first gig at CBGB leads off a suite of eyewitness and insider accounts of the rise of punk rock, while another set of pieces considers the vast cultural influence of the enigmatic Johnny Carson and the scramble of his late-night successors to inherit the “swivel throne.” There are warm tributes to such diverse figures as Michael Mann, Sam Peckinpah, Lester Bangs, and Philip Larkin and masterly summings-up of the departed giants of American literature—John Updike, William Styron, John Cheever, and Mailer and Vidal. Included as well are some legendary takedowns that have entered into the literary lore of our time. Critical Mass is a treasure trove of sparkling, spiky prose and a fascinating portrait of our lives and cultural times over the past decades. In an age where a great deal of back scratching and softball pitching pass for criticism, James Wolcott’s fearless essays and reviews offer a bracing taste of the real critical thing.
Not all journeys come to an end.... 1867. Ruth Holtz has more blessings than she can count—a loving husband, an abundant farm, beautiful children, and the warm embrace of the Amish community. Then, the English arrive, spreading incredible stories of free land in the West and inspiring her husband to dream of a new life in Idaho. Breaking the rules of their Order, Ruth’s husband packs up his pregnant wife and their four children and joins a wagon train heading west. Though Ruth is determined to keep separate from the English, as stricture demands, the harrowing journey soon compels her to accept help from two unlikely allies: Hortence, the preacher’s wife, and the tomboyish, teasing Sadie. But as these new friendships lead to betrayal, what started as a quest for a brighter future ends with Ruth making unthinkable sacrifices, risking faith and family, and transforming into a woman she never imagined she’d become….
A richly textured, diverse collection of stories that illuminate the heartland and America itself, exploring questions of history, race, and identity. Grounded in place, spanning the Civil War to the present day, the stories in I Was a Revolutionary capture the roil of history through the eyes of an unforgettable cast of characters: the visionaries and dreamers, radical farmers and socialist journalists, quack doctors and protestors who haunt the past and present landscape of the state of Kansas. In these stories—which have appeared in Zoetrope All-Story, The Best New American Voices, FiveChapters, Story, American Short Fiction, and Ninth Letter—the award-winning writer Andrew Malan Milward crafts an epic mosaic of the American experience, tracing how we live amid the inconvenient ghosts of history. “The Burning of Lawrence” vibrates with the raw terror of a town pillaged by pro-Confederate raiders. “O Death” recalls the desperately hard journey of the Exodusters—African-American migrants who came to Kansas to escape oppression in the South. And, in the collection’s haunting title piece, a professor of Kansas history surveys his decades-long slide from radicalism to complacency, a shift that parallels the landscape around him. Using his own home state as a prism through which to view both a nation’s history and our own universal battles as individuals, Milward has created one of the freshest and most complex story collections in recent years.
In the tradition of George Saunders and Aimee Bender, an exuberantly imagined debut that chronicles an ordinary world marked by unusual phenomena. The eighteen stories of Manuel Gonzales’s exhilarating first book render the fantastic commonplace and the ordinary extraordinary, in prose that thrums with energy and shimmers with beauty. In “The Artist’s Voice” we meet one of the world’s foremost composers, a man who speaks through his ears. A hijacked plane circles a city for twenty years in “Pilot, Copilot, Writer.” Sound can kill in “The Sounds of Early Morning.” And, in the title story, a man is at war with the wife he accidentally shrank. For these characters, the phenomenal isn’t necessarily special—but it’s often dangerous. In slightly fantastical settings, Gonzales illustrates very real guilt over small and large marital missteps, the intense desire for the reinvention of self, and the powerful urges we feel to defend and provide for the people we love. With wit and insight, these stories subvert our expectations and challenge us to look at our surroundings with fresh eyes. Brilliantly conceived, strikingly original, and told with the narrative instinct of a born storyteller, The Miniature Wife is an unforgettable debut.
Sergeant Steve Maharidge returned from World War II an angry man. The only evidence that he'd served in the Marines was a photograph of himself and a buddy tacked to the basement wall. On one terrifyingly memorable occasion his teenage son, Dale, witnessed Steve screaming at the photograph: “They said I killed him! But I didn't kill him! It wasn't my fault!” After Steve died, Dale Maharidge began a twelve-year quest to face down his father's wartime ghosts. He found more than two dozen members of Love Company, the Marine unit in which his father had served. Many of them, now in their eighties, finally began talking about the war. They'd never spoken so openly and emotionally, even to their families. Through them, Maharidge brilliantly re-creates Love Company's battles and the war that followed them home. In addition, Maharidge traveled to Okinawa to experience where the man in his father's picture died and meet the families connected to his father's wartime souvenirs. The survivors Dale met on both sides of the Pacific Ocean demonstrate that wars do not end when the guns go quiet—the scars and demons remain for decades. Bringing Mulligan Home is a story of fathers and sons, war and postwar, silence and cries in the dark. Most of all it is a tribute to soldiers of all wars—past and present—and the secret burdens they, and their families, must often bear.
Jesse and Eric were roommates in the tiny town of Caldwell, Idaho, nineteen-year-old working class kids eking out a living with their seven-dollar-an-hour jobs selling and fixing computers. College was never in the cards. Their families had been torn apart by divorce and hard times, separation and illness. They had almost no social lives, and little to look forward to. They spent every spare cent on their computers, and every spare moment on-line. Jesse and Eric were proud geeks— suspicious or disdainful of authority figures, proud of their status as outsiders, fervent in their belief in the positive power of technology. They'd been outsiders as long as they could remember, living far from the mainstream of school or town life. Nobody spoke for them, they were on nobody's social or political agenda. Geeks is the story of how Jesse and Eric—and others like them—used technology to try and change their lives and alter their destiny. They rode the Internet out of Idaho to Chicago, a city they had ever set foot in, seeking the American Dream, a better life. Geeks describes this brave and difficult journey, as two self-described social misfits use the resources of the Internet to try to construct a new future for themselves, escape the boundaries of their dead-end lives, and find a community they could belong to. Geeks explores a growing subculture about which many of us know little, a world with its own language, traditions, and taboos. In telling the stories of Jesse, Eric, and others like them, Geeks is a story about the very human face of technology.