Let’s agree on the obvious: no book is for everybody. One book will always appeal to a wider audience than another, and each has its own readership in mind, despite who actually shows up (or doesn’t) at the bookseller’s counter.
Eighty-six-year-old Hennie Comfort has lived in the rugged mining town of Middle Swan since before President Grant declared Colorado the Union’s thirty-eighth state. Hennie’s daughter, Mae, wants her mother to bid farewell to the unforgiving winters of the Colorado mountains and join her and her husband in their Iowa home along the banks of the Mississippi River.
Matthew Pearl’s first novel, The Dante Club (2003), surprised critics with its erudite blending of history and mystery in a tale of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and post-Civil War Boston. In his second novel, The Poe Shadow (2006), Pearl re-created Edgar Allan Poe and life in mid-nineteenth-century Baltimore in a second critic-wowing and New York Times best-selling historical thriller.
Fanny Howe’s A Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation emerges from the past even as it dwells within it. Future and past come together, united by images of a child at a threshold, a frozen foot poised to go forward, a mushroom cloud.
Featured fiction from the Spring 2010 issue.
Featured fiction from the Fall 2009 issue.