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Honey from the Lion: A Novel

In this lyrical and suspenseful debut novel, a turn-of-the-century logging company decimates 10,000 acres of virgin forest in the West Virginia Alleghenies and transforms a brotherhood of timber wolves into revolutionaries. The startling elegy establishes its author as a tremendous new literary voice.

$18.95

Synopsis

Shortlisted for the L.D. and LaVerne Harrell Clark Fiction Prize

In this lyrical and suspenseful debut novel, a turn-of-the-century logging company decimates ten thousand acres of virgin forest in the West Virginia Alleghenies—and transforms a brotherhood of timber wolves into revolutionaries. After fleeing his childhood farm in the wake of scandal, Cur Greathouse arrives at the Cheat River Paper & Pulp Company’s Blackpine camp, where an unlikely family of sawyers offers him new hope. But the work there is exacting and dangerous—with men’s worth measured in ledger columns. Whispers of a union strike pass from bunk to bunk. Against the rasp of the misery whip and the crash of felled hemlock and red spruce, Cur encounters a cast of characters who will challenge his loyalties: a minister grasping after his dwindling congregation, a Syrian peddler who longs to put down his pack and open a store, a slighted Slovenian wife turned activist, and a trio of reckless land barons. Cur must accept or betray the call to lead a rebellion—and finally reconcile a forbidden love.

Manuel Muñoz says of reading Matthew Neill Null’s image-rich prose, “The real pleasure—and certainly not the only one—is in the sentences, as complex, deliberately assured, and lethal as Flannery O’Connor’s.” A startling elegy that establishes its author as a tremendous new literary voice, Honey from the Lion evokes the ecological devastation and human tragedy behind the Gilded Age, and sings both the land and ordinary lives in all their extraordinary resilience.

Details
ISBN: 9781940596082
Price: $18.95
Publication Date: September 8, 2015
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Pages: 254
Format: Trade paper with French flaps
Novel

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Bound to become one of the most admired and influential fiction writers of his generation . . . Null has the chops to represent the American past in a way that is richly credible for its period and yet stylistically daring.”

Jaimy Gordon

Author of Lord of Misrule

1/4

REVIEW

“Against a backdrop of labor unrest and the growing destruction of the old-growth forest, Null weaves a morality play of many threads: who will betray whom and at what price? The writing is exact and assured, the story complex and rewarding.”

Kirkus, One of Nine Books You Shouldn't Overlook

2/4

REVIEW

“Beautifully written in fresh, lyrical prose, Honey from the Lion brilliantly creates a land and a people experiencing tremendous change. Null successfully and engagingly presents the consequences of this change for both humans and the environment, leaving readers feeling like witnesses to it all.”

Booklist

3/4

REVIEW

“Award-winning short story author Null writes with an eye for the geography, players, and violent push of the Gilded Age profit engines. . . . A debut of note for fans of historical fiction, labor, or environmental issues, and Appalachian settings; read-alike authors include Denis Johnson and E.L. Doctorow.”

Library Journal, Summer Best Debuts

4/4

About the Author

Matthew Neill Null is a recipient of the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Mary McCarthy Prize, and the Michener–Copernicus Society of America Award. His debut novel, Honey from the Lion, from Lookout Books, was shortlisted for the L.D. and LaVerne Harrell Clark Fiction Prize, and his story collection, Allegheny Front, was named a finalist for Foreword’s INDIE collection of the year. His stories appear in American Short Fiction, Ecotone, the Oxford American, Ploughshares, The PEN /O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Best American Mystery Stories 2014. A native of West Virginia, he holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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