A “dazzling first novel” about Japanese Americans and their Wyoming neighbors in the era of WWII internment camps (Chicago Tribune).
A renowned chronicler of life in the West, Gretel Ehrlich turns her talents to a moment in history when American citizens were set against each other, offering “a novel full of immense poetic feeling for the internal lives of its varied characters and the sublime high plains landscape that is its backdrop” (The New York Times Book Review).
This is the story of Kai, a graduate student reunited with his old-fashioned parents in the most painful way possible; Mariko, a gifted artist; Mariko’s husband, a political dissident; and her aging grandfather, a Noh mask carver from Kyoto. It is also the story of McKay, who runs his family farm outside the nearby town; Pinkey, an alcoholic cowboy; and Madeleine, whose soldier husband is missing in the Pacific. Most of all, Heart Mountain is about what happens when these two groups collide. Politics, loyalty, history, love—soon the bedrocks of society will seem as transient and fleeting as life itself.
Set at the real-life Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming, this powerful novel paints “a sweeping, yet finely shaded portrait of a real West unfolding in historical time” (The Christian Science Monitor).