Joe Wilkins: Fall Back Down When I Die
Please join us to hear Joe Wilkins discuss his newest release, "Fall Back Down When I Die"!
About "Fall Back Down When I Die" (Courtesy of Publisher):
Brought to life with rich and vivid brushstrokes, Wilkins’s characters will win you over from the moment you meet them. Wendell, a young ranch hand, is living in a state of chronic despair. He’s recently lost his mother, leaving him an orphan. His father met a violent end more than a decade earlier. The list of Wendell’s woes goes on—his bank account holds less than a hundred dollars, and he owes back taxes on what remains of the land his parents owned, as well as money for the surgeries that couldn’t save his mother’s life. In short, the American Dream has failed him.
But a young boy, seven-year-old Rowdy Burns, suddenly enters his life and gives Wendell new purpose. Rowdy is the illegitimate son of Wendell’s incarcerated cousin. Traumatized, the boy is mute and emotionally damaged. But Rowdy stretches the bounds of Wendell’s heart. His newfound love reaches its breaking point during the first legal wolf hunt in Montana in more than thirty years. Wendell finds himself on the wrong side of a disaffected fringe group, and a murder in the small community leads to a manhunt.
Wendell’s only hope is to protect Rowdy while trying to avoid the same violence that claimed his own father.
About Joe Wilkins:
Pushcart Prize winner and a finalist for the PEN Center USA Journalism Award and National Magazine Award, has written a dark and haunting debut novel for our time. Wilkins brings Montana and the American West to life with the same authenticity of Daniel Woodrell’s Ozarks and Ron Rash’s Appalachia. Joe Wilkins’s memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, won the GLCA New Writers Award for nonfiction, and his work has appeared in the Georgia Review, the Harvard Review, Slate, and elsewhere. Wilkins lives with his wife and two children in western Oregon, where he teaches writing at Linfield College.
Reviews on "Fall Back Down When I Die":
“Joe Wilkins has risen to a very special peak with this heartrending novel of hard living and lonesome hope in the vast American landscape. I cannot praise it enough.”
—Luis Alberto Urrea, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of the national bestsellers The House of Broken Angels and The Hummingbird’s Daughter
“No polemic, Fall Back Down When I Die is populated by vibrant characters drawn with fairness and deep heart, boys and men, girls and women who will get under your skin and stay there, and it is full of vivid descriptions of the Montana landscape that are spot-on and swoon-worthy.”
—Pam Houston, author of the national bestsellers Cowboys Are My Weakness and Sight Hound (Spokesman Review's Northwest Passages Author February 2019)
For readers of My Absolute Darling and Fourth of July Creek, a "riveting and timely" Montana story about the unbreakable bond between a young man and the abandoned boy put in his care (Jess Walter), as old grievances of land and blood are visited upon them.