A Novel by Melissa Fraterrigo
University of Nebraska Press
Paperback Original, $19.95
When the Glory Days amusement park is erected, past and present collide in the small plains town of Ingleside, Nebraska, ushering in dark times as locals clash with wealthy developers.
"A stunning tour de force centered in a small cattle ranching town." — Paige Van de Winkle, Foreword starred review
"If Willa Cather and Cormac McCarthy had a love child, she would be a writer such as Fraterrigo." — Carol Haggas, Booklist
“Melissa Fraterrigo’s novel strikes with the unexpected force of a summer tornado. . . . Characters worthy of a Flannery O’Connor story struggle and self-medicate to make sense of lives marked by loss, violence, and despair. These characters yearn for one another, across time, even across death, and they take comfort in the past and in one another, however fragile their connections.” — Bonnie Jo Campbell, National Book Award finalist and author of Mothers, Tell Your Daughters
“Spinning through a series of unforgettable characters, each lured by a sense of freedom, violence, or the need to belong, these stories surprise us, echo with significance, and draw together to paint a complicated portrait of a place about to be lost.” — Michelle Hoover, author of The Quickening and Bottomland
The small plains town of Ingleside, Nebraska, is populated by down-on-their-luck ranchers and new money, ghosts and seers, drugs and greed, the haves and the have-nots. Lives ripple through each other to surprising effect, though the connections fluctuate between divisive gulfs and the most intimate closeness. At the center of this novel is the story of Teensy and his daughter, Luann, who face the loss of their land even as they mourn the death of Luann’s mother. On the other end of the spectrum, some townspeople find enormous wealth when developers begin buying up acreages.
In Glory Days Melissa Fraterrigo combines gritty realism with magical elements to paint an arrestingly stark portrait of the painful transitions of twenty-first-century, small-town America. She interweaves a slate of gripping characters to reveal deeper truths about our times and how the new landscape of one culture can be the ruin of another.
Melissa Fraterrigo is the founder and executive director of the Lafayette Writers’ Studio in Lafayette, Indiana. She is the author of a collection of short fiction, The Longest Pregnancy.
Haunted Heartland (2nd Edition)
Nonfiction by Michael Norman
University of Wisconsin Press
September 27, 2017
Paperback Original, $19.95
Astonishing accounts of ghosts, mysterious lights, and haunted houses. For decades, journalist Michael Norman has tracked down spine-tingling stories that arise from apparently authentic accounts in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin. More than eighty entertaining, eerie tales are collected here.
"An intriguing, engaging collection that is a real pleasure to read. This edition combines old favorites with new discoveries of strange tales. The author's extensive research into Midwestern ghost story traditions makes this well-loved book a valuable resource for folklorists." — Elizabeth Tucker, author of Haunted Halls
"Excellent [and] easy to read." --School Library Journal
"There is a cumulative chilling effect in the simple telling of these unexplained events. [The authors] have steadfastly researched and preserved dozens of amazing tales that might otherwise have been lost." — Chicago Magazine
A fleeting figure dressed in a white party dress roams the streets of southwest Chicago. A long-dead Iowa college student treads the staircase in an old building. A ghostly, plaid-shirted workman plays peek-a-boo with a ticket seller in a Minnesota theater. A phantom wolf prowls Ohio's Jackson and Pike Counties.
For decades, journalist Michael Norman has been tracking down spine-tingling tales that seem to arise from authentic incidents in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In Haunted Heartland he offers more than eighty entertaining, eerie stories. Are they true in the world that we know, or only in a dark vale of twilight?
Michael Norman is an emeritus professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls. His many books include six other collections of American supernatural stories, including Haunted Wisconsin, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press.
Never Coming Back
A Novel by Alison McGhee
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
October 10, 2017
When Clara Winter left her rural Adirondacks town for college, she never looked back. Her mother, Tamar, a loving but fiercely independent woman who raised Clara on her own, all but pushed her out the door, and so Clara built a new life for herself, far from her roots and the world she had always known.
“Alison McGhee returns to the landscape of the Adirondacks in this beautifully devastating novel about the things that remain unspoken between parent and child. Clara Winter’s need to know what lies on the other side of her mother’s Alzheimer’s-induced silence drives this book toward its ferocious conclusion. Never Coming Back is an exquisite book, brim-full with nostalgia, love, regret, humor, yearning--and unforgettable prose.” — Julie Schumacher, author of Midwest Connections Pick and Midwest Booksellers Choice Award Winner Dear Committee Members
“When a parent is involved, the journey of a caregiver can take the mind back through all the bumps and beauties of a complicated relationship and the heart and soul into new and challenging territory. Alison McGhee captures this--all the nuances and conflicts--in her beautifully written novel. Much to praise here but it is the remarkable characterization of the mother, the indomitable Tamar, who McGhee paints with such feeling, that lingers for me. A wise, humane book and a very special novelist.” — George Hodgman, New York Times bestselling author of Midwest Connections pick Bettyville
“[A] quietly powerful novel….Fans of Sara Baume, Holly Chamberlin, and Francesca Segal will appreciate McGhee’s magnetic prose and her ability to pack a richly detailed story into a slim novel. Atmospheric and introspective, Never ComingBack will resonate with those who have lost a parent to illness or estrangement but still have questions they’d like to be answered.” — Booklist
Now more than a decade has passed, and Clara, a successful writer, has been summoned home. Tamar has become increasingly forgetful, and can no longer live on her own. But just as her mother’s memory is declining, Clara’s questions are building. Why was Tamar so insistent that Clara leave, all those years ago? Just what secrets was she hiding?
The surprising answers Clara uncovers are rooted in her mother’s love for her, and the sacrifices Tamar made to protect her. And in being released from her past—though now surrounded by friends from it—Clara can finally look forward to the future. Never Coming Back is a brilliant and piercing story of a young woman finding her way in life, determined to know her mother—and by extension herself—before it's too late.
Alison McGhee writes for all ages in all forms, from novels to poems to books for children. Her bestselling novel Shadow Baby was a Today Show Book Club pick, and her picture book for adults, Someday, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages, and she has won many fellowships and awards, including four Minnesota Book Awards, the Geisel medal, a MacDowell residency, and several American Library Association awards. Alison ?has three grown children and lives a semi-nomadic life in Minneapolis, Vermont and California.
A Novel by Robert Olmstead
September 26, 2017
The buffalo hunt that her husband had planned, Elizabeth realizes, was his last hope for saving their land.
“The precision and poetry of the author's language have a paradoxical effect: they make the setting strange and distinct while imbuing characters and their actions with a particular immediacy . . . A story about America told through its land and its animals and its diverse people and, especially, through the experiences of two vivid, singular, powerful characters. Another gorgeous, brutal masterpiece from a great American writer.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Like so many outstanding novels about the taming of the West, there is a tragic ambiguity at the heart of Olmstead’s brutal but beautiful tale of the last buffalo hunt. For a certain kind of uncompromising yet lyrical writer – think Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry, or William Kittredge – the West offers a stage for a special kind of archetypal, almost Shakespearean tragedy, and Olmstead makes the most of it.” — Booklist (starred review)
“This is a powerful depiction of the brutality of the Old West, where life was cheap and easily taken.” — Publishers Weekly
In September 1873, Elizabeth Coughlin, a widow bankrupted by her husband’s folly and death, embarks on a buffalo hunt with her estranged and mysterious brother-in-law, Michael. With no money, no family, no job or security, she hopes to salvage something of her former life and the lives of the hired men and their families who depend on her.
Elizabeth and Michael plunge south across the aptly named Deadline demarcating Indian Territory from their home state, Kansas. Nothing could have prepared them for the dangers: rattlesnakes, rabies, wildfire, lightning strikes, blue northers, flash floods, threats to life in so many ways. They’re on borrowed time: the Comanche are in winter quarters, and the cruel work of slaughtering the buffalo is unraveling their souls. They must get back alive.
Thi a gripping narrative of an infamous hunt, which drove the buffalo population to near extinction, is the story of a moment in our history in which mass destruction of an animal population was seen as the only route to economic solvency. But it’s also the intimate story of how that hunt changed Michael and Elizabeth forever.
Robert Olmstead is the author of eight books. The Coldest Night was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2012, a Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Fiction Book of 2012, and an Amazon Best Book of 2012. Coal Black Horse was the winner of the Heartland Prize for Fiction and the Ohioana Award and was a #1 Book Sense pick. Far Bright Star was the winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award. Olmstead is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an NEA grant and is a professor at Ohio Wesleyan University.