Originally published in 1986 in the Vintage Contemporaries paperback series—and reissued now in hardcover alongside his masterful new novel, Empire Falls—Richard Russo's Mohawk remains today as it was described then: A first novel with all the assurance of a mature writer at the peak of form and ambition, Mohawk is set in upstate New York and chronicles over a dozen lives in a leather town, long after the tanneries have started closing down. Ranging over three generations—and clustered mainly in two clans, the Grouses and the Gaffneys—these remarkably various lives share only the common human dilemmas and the awesome physical and emotional presence of Mohawk itself.
For this is a town like Winesburg, Ohio or Our Town, in our time, that encompasses a plethora of characters, events and mysteries. At once honestly tragic and sharply, genuinely funny, Mohawk captures life, then affirms it.
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