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Product Details

$16.00  $14.88
Grove Press, Black Cat
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.2 X 1.0 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author

Michelle Hoover is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University and teaches at GrubStreet, where she leads the Novel Incubator program. She is a 2014 NEA Fellow and has been a Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University, a MacDowell Fellow, and a winner of the PEN/New England Discovery Award. Her debut, The Quickening, was a 2010 Massachusetts Book Award Must Read." She is a native of Iowa and lives in Boston.



* A March Indie Next Pick
* An Amazon Best Book of the Month

"There are many compelling things about Michelle Hoover's potent new novel, Bottomland, not least of all her austere style and its visceral punch. . . . Hoover's story, set largely in the immediate wake of World War I, has so much contemporary resonance. Bottomland is transporting, for sure, as it travels back to a world where home-heating pipes were a novelty, where poor farm families had little to eat, less to say, and even less to celebrate. But the hatred and xenophobia that mark Hoover's plot aren't distant at all . . . As much as Bottomland evokes a grim American past with enough mastery to justify comparisons to Willa Cather, it also speaks of our present tense. . . . You're in the hands of a writer who won't disappoint." --Boston Globe

"A mystery wrapped in isolation and ethnic fear. . . . [An] atmospheric and engaging tale, which turns out to be as much about sibling rivalry as about mistrust and oppression." --Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Part mystery, part tragedy, part coming-of-age narrative . . . the depth of Bottomland makes for a beautiful second novel by Hoover." --Chicago Book Review

"Hoover skillfully interweaves many of the Hess family members' narratives. Her descriptions of the bleak rural landscape is chilling. Fans of Jim Harrison's Legends of the Fall will enjoy the plot; Willa Cather enthusiasts will relish the setting; and Theodore Dreiser readers will savor the gritty characterizations." --Library Journal (starred review)

"A lyrical, at times mysterious, and dreamy tale of family ties . . . Deftly imagined and written, Hoover's second novel offers an intriguing, modern take on a classic American landscape." --Kirkus Reviews

"Hoover vividly describes the harsh realities of life on a farm, on the battlefield, and in a Chicago sweatshop through the eyes of masterfully drawn characters. A novel as poignant as it is clear-eyed." --Booklist

"Well-formed characters propel a consistently compelling tale." --Publishers Weekly

"Bottomland is more than a literary mystery. It's a trance, a poem, a lamentation, a benediction. And it's breathtaking. As in: remind yourself to breathe." --Rebecca Makkai, author of Music for Wartime and The Hundred-Year House

"Immensely readable. From small town to the grit of the city, family farm to union factories, the Midwest of Michelle Hoover's Bottomland is alive with secrets, hard choices, and the acute costs of independence." --Daphne Kalotay, author of Russian Winter and Sight Reading

"Comparisons to Dreiser and Cather are inevitable when you read Michelle Hoover's classic heartland novels because Hoover knows rural life, its unforgiving reality and its people so well; in Bottomland, she makes this landscape her own with new vivid lyricism. This post-WWI novel about an ostracized German-American family searching Iowa and Chicago for their missing teenaged girls is poignant, powerful, and hypnotically readable." --Jenna Blum, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers

"Michelle Hoover writes with a grace both fierce and tender about place, loss, and hope, about the words that go unsaid and the parts of a heart that remain unknown. A mystery, a family story, and a stark portrait of a time in American history, Bottomland moved me. It haunts me still." --Kate Racculia, author of Bellweather Rhapsody

"Bottomland is an unforgettable tale of a farm family struggling to survive, and of the fears that threaten them from both within and without. With unmistakable echoes of Cather and Dreiser, the voices of the Hess family, stark and graceful as the unforgiving Iowa prairie itself, are shot through with longing--for the past, for love, for acceptance, and, most dangerous and exhilarating of all, for change. This is a beautiful book about resilience, survival, and the tenacity of family bonds." --Holly LeCraw, author of The Swimming Pool and The Half Brother

"I love this novel. Bottomland is a work of unusual intelligence--enthralling and precise. Michelle Hoover has woven an incandescent story of a family torn apart by war and loss, and she has done so with such breathtaking insight, you can almost feel these lives rise off the page." --Dawn Tripp, author of Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O'Keefe

"Bottomland is a magnificent, sweeping book, filled with the hardship of immigrant life and the poignancy of family ties. Michelle Hoover has taken up Willa Cather's mantle in chronicling the beautiful nobility of the nascent American West. The Hess family reels from grief and shame in their German heritage in the wake of World War I, suffering from the secrets it cannot tell. This book will break your heart and raise your spirit." --Allison Amend, author of Enchanted Islands