“Beautiful and finely crafted . . . We come to see how, in the Appalachia of both past and present, the inevitability of change may be the only constant” (Oxford American).
A Publishers Weekly “Best Book of Summer 2016”
The Millions and The Masters Review “Most Anticipated Book of 2016”
O, The Oprah Magazine “Ten Titles to Pick Up Now”
Set in the author’s homeland of West Virginia, this panoramic collection of stories traces the people and animals who live in precarious balance in the mountains of Appalachia over a span of two hundred years, in a disappearing rural world. With omniscient narration, rich detail, and lyrical prose, Matthew Neill Null brings his landscape and characters vividly to life.
“This remarkable story collection . . . is a clear-eyed look at an area that has been torn apart for more than a century. . . . Null never yields to nihilism, but captures the rich and complex, if imperfect, lives of the dispossessed.” —The New York Times Book Review
“The nine stories in the collection are masterpieces of brutality and beauty . . . This is the work of a master storyteller.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“West Virginia author Matthew Neill Null brings the richness of his mountain heritage to each page. . . . He bypasses the tired clichés and timeworn assumptions of Appalachian life. He skips straight to the essence of the mountains and valleys.” —Charleston Gazette-Mail
“Tender and elegant. . . . Within that setting of crags, foreboding forests, and onrushing creeks, Null finds poetry and moments that can sometimes bear something like grace. . . . Null is a natural writer with much to say.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)