Like the work of Cormac McCarthy, Denis Johnson, Richard Ford, and Annie Proulx, Battleborn represents a near-perfect confluence of sensibility and setting, and the introduction of an exceptionally powerful and original literary voice. In each of these ten unforgettable stories, Claire Vaye Watkins writes her way fearlessly into the mythology of the American West, utterly reimagining it. Her characters orbit around the region's vast spaces, winning redemption despite - and often because of - the hardship and violence they endure. The arrival of a foreigner transforms the exchange of eroticism and emotion at a prostitution ranch. A prospecting hermit discovers the limits of his rugged individualism when he tries to rescue an abused teenager. Decades after she led her best friend into a degrading encounter in a Vegas hotel room, a woman feels the aftershock. Most bravely of all, Watkins takes on - and reinvents - her own troubled legacy in a story that emerges from the mayhem and destruction of Helter Skelter. Arcing from the sweeping and sublime to the minute and personal, from Gold Rush to ghost town to desert to brothel, the collection echoes not only in its title but also in its fierce, undefeated spirit the motto of her home state.
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by Claire Messud
by India Edghill
by Jodi Angel
by William Gay
by Ada Palmer
by Charles Baxter
by J. Todd Scott
by Clyde Edgerton
"This story collection is powerfully delivered by an assortment of skilled narrators. In the bleak, wide-open spaces of Nevada and the American West, these characters are as likely to succumb to the violence and heartbreak they encounter as they are to find redemption and relief. Standout stories feature a young Italian who falls hopelessly in love with a prostitute while search parties hunt for his lost hiking companion, and a pair of brothers who are worn down by the grueling life of the Old-West gold miner. ThereOs little humor or relief in these tales, but neither is the heartbreak and anguish overwhelming. Across the board, the narrations are subtle and subduedNwell suited to the restrained tone of these exceptional stories. S.N.M. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"
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