Book Spotlight: Prairie Fever by Michael Parker

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Paperback Release Date: June 23, 2020

About The Book: 

Winner of the 2020 Thomas Wolfe Prize

Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

The Stewart sisters, pragmatic Lorena and chimerical Elise, are bound together not only by their isolation on the prairie of early 1900s Oklahoma, but also by their deep emotional reliance on each other. They’re all they’ve got . . . until Gus McQueen arrives in Lone Wolf.

An inexperienced first-time teacher, Gus is challenged by the sisters’ wit and ingenuity. Then one impulsive decision and a cataclysmic blizzard trap Elise and her horse on the prairie—and the balance of everything is forever changed.

With honesty, poetic intensity, and the deadpan humor of Paulette Jiles and Charles Portis, this novel tells the story of characters tested as much by life on the prairie as they are by their own churning hearts.

About The Author: 

Michael Parker is the author of seven novels – Hello Down There, Towns Without Rivers, Virginia Lovers, If You Want Me To Stay, The Watery Part of the World, All I Have In This World, and Prairie Fever–and three collections of stories, The Geographical Cure, Don’t Make Me Stop Now and Everything, Then and Since.   His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various journals including Five Points, the Georgia Review, The Southwest Review, Epoch, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Oxford American, New England Review, Southwest Review, Trail Runner, Runner’s World and Men’s Journal. He has received fellowships in fiction from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Hobson Award for Arts and Letters,  the North Carolina Award for Literature and the 2020 Thomas Wolfe Prize. His work has been anthologized in the Pushcart, New Stories from the South anthologies, and he is a three-time winner of the O.Henry Award for short fiction. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia, he taught for nearly thirty years in the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Since 2009 he has been on the faculty of the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.  He lives in Austin, Texas. https://www.michaelfparker.com/prairie-fever

Book Blurbs: 

In the tradition of Katherine Anne Porter, Parker’s exceptional tale explores the power and strength of kinship on the harsh American frontier.”—Publishers Weekly

“In Prairie Fever, there is humor as well as danger, love as well as longing, and reconciliation as well as lingering spite. It’s splendid reading.”—Lone Star Literary Life

“Full of humor as well as anguish, suggesting that some bonds are strong enough to surpass even the most painful betrayal.”—Manhattan Book Review

“Parker’s chimerical slipstream of a novel asks, Is it better to hew to that which is, or to see the world as you wish? Readers will surely be pulled deep into the strange and wild river of Elise’s fanciful peregrinations.”—Booklist, starred review

“A frontier tale of sibling rivalry. . . Parker’s novel isn’t as much about sisterhood as love, as the two struggle to reckon with their estrangement head-on; some of the novel’s most powerful sections are Elise’s letters to Lorena, addressed not directly to sis but to the horse she rode during the blizzard . . . the easygoing, sometimes-smirking nature of the prose (True Grit comes to mind) makes the novel a pleasant ride.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Michael Parker has captured a time, place, and sisterhood so perfectly it hurts to turn the last page. Prairie Fever is a riveting, atmospheric dream of a novel.”—Dominic Smith, author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

 

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