Wolf's Mouth

John Smolens (Author)

Product Details

Michigan State University Press
Publish Date
February 01, 2016
6.1 X 1.1 X 9.1 inches | 1.25 pounds
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About the Author

John Smolens has published nine works of fiction, including Cold, Quarantine, and The Schoolmaster's Daughter. He lives in Marquette, Michigan.


"In Wolf 's Mouth, John Smolens delivers a thrilling story of good versus evil: part Upper Peninsula woods adventure, part rags-to-riches tale, part love story. It's beautifully and thoughtfully written, and it's bound to become part of Michigan's folk history."
--Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award finalist American Salvage and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters
"Smolens's Wolf's Mouth starts with a steady idle, then revs up into high gear with memorable characters and a gripping narrative. Wherever Smolens takes us, from a WWII prisoner of war camp in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, to the streets of Detroit, to a courthouse in Berlin, he is a masterful guide and storyteller. In the skillful hands of an accomplished writer like Smolens, this sweeping, suspenseful tale becomes intimate and nuanced. Hold on to your hat, and hold on to your heart."
--Jim Ray Daniels, author of Eight Mile High and winner of the Michigan Notable Book Award
"Armed with his trademark impressive research that illuminates the shadowy and oft-forgotten corners of history (the portrayal of a prisoner of war labor camp in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is particularly riveting); an array of well-drawn characters; spot-on dialogue; an examination of the recurring comfort of a good, familiar meal; and a wicked sense of humor, Smolens tells a quintessentially (and quintessentially quirky) American tale of love, displacement, migration, suspense, violence, and the ways in which a landscape can conspire to disappear the goodness we can only hope still lurks in the human heart."
--Matthew Gavin Frank, author of Preparing the Ghost and The Mad Feast
"With Wolf's Mouth, John Smolens skillfully expands the genre of the all-too-rare Michigan historical epic, opening his gripping tale in the World War II prison camps in the state's Upper Peninsula. This is a powerful novel of imprisonment, escape, and ultimately redemption, its every page a visceral evocation of a past we should not forget."
--Matt Bell, author of Scrapper
"Wolf's Mouth is an amazing accomplishment! John Smolens grabs his readers immediately with the little-known tale of a World War II prison camp as it was played out in the American north woods. Francesco Verdi/Frank Green is one of the strongest, most vivid characters you'll find in a novel during this or any other year."
--Keith Taylor, A. L. Becker Collegiate Lecturer in English at University of
Michigan and author of If the World Becomes So Bright