History of Wolves (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

To paraphrase the author, I slipped into this book so fast it was like being gulped. Her humor, her spot-on observations and breathtaking prose, the deep unpredictability and (yet) painful familiarity of the characters, and the harrowing undercurrent of suppressed fury - there is just no stopping place, so be prepared to read this amazing debut novel in one sitting.

— Patty

 I am still reeling from the one two-punch at the end of this novel. A girl, only happy in the woods, is drawn into the orbit of a city couple and their little boy. Moving back and forth through time, we discover, early on, that something bad is going to happen. The tension ratchets up as we struggle to guess what that is. Gripping.

— Lisa


"So delicately calibrated and precisely beautiful that one might not immediately sense the sledgehammer of pain building inside this book. And I mean that in the best way. What powerful tension and depth this provides "--Aimee Bender

Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new history teacher Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is charged with possessing child pornography, the implications of his arrest deeply affect Linda as she wrestles with her own fledgling desires and craving to belong.

And then the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Linda finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy, Paul. It seems that her life finally has purpose but with this new sense of belonging she is also drawn into secrets she doesn't understand. Over the course of a few days, Linda makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life. As she struggles to find a way out of the sequestered world into which she was born, Linda confronts the life-and-death consequences of the things people do--and fail to do--for the people they love.

Winner of the McGinnis-Ritchie award for its first chapter, Emily Fridlund's propulsive and gorgeously written History of Wolves introduces a new writer of enormous range and talent.

About the Author

Emily Fridlund grew up in Minnesota and currently resides in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Her fiction has appeared in a variety of journals, including Boston Review, Zyzzyva, Five Chapters, New Orleans Review, Sou'wester, New Delta Review, Chariton Review, The Portland Review, and Painted Bride Quarterly. She holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Fridlund's collection of stories, Catapult, was a finalist for the Noemi Book Award for Fiction and the Tartts First Fiction Award. It won the Mary McCarthy Prize and will be published by Sarabande in 2017. The opening chapter of History of Wolves was published in Southwest Review and won the 2013 McGinnis-Ritchie Award for Fiction.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780802125873
ISBN-10: 0802125875
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2017
Pages: 288
Language: English