Crossing Purgatory by Gary Schanbacher
A Novel

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In the wake of family tragedy, Indiana farmer Thompson Grey takes to the Santa Fe Trail in a beautifully scripted, spare and powerful story of relationships, human frailties, and ultimately, redemption

In spring of 1858 Thompson Grey, a young farmer, travels to his father’s estate seeking funds to expand his holdings. Far overstaying his visit, he returns home to find that his absence has contributed to a devastating family tragedy. Haunted by remorse, Thompson abandons his farm and begins a westward exile in the attempt to outpace his grief. Unwittingly, he finds himself at journey’s end in the one place where his strongest temptations are able to over take him and once again put him to the test. Set against the backdrop of the frontier during the years just preceding the Civil War, Crossing Purgatory tells a story of unprincipled ambition, guilt, and the price one man is willing to pay for atonement.

About Gary Schanbacher

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Gary Schanbacher was born in the Midwest, raised in Southeast Virginia, and lives just outside Denver, Colorado. His short story collection, Migration Patterns, received a PEN/Hemingway Honorable Mention for distinguished first works of fiction and won the Colorado Book Award, the High Plains First Book Award and the Eric Hoffer General Fiction Award. He has been a Hemingway Fellow at Ucross Foundation, serves on the board of directors of Lighthouse Writers Workshop, a non-profit writing center, and is a founding partner of The Writers Block, a writing co-community.
Published June 4, 2013 by Pegasus Books. 336 pages
Genres: History, Westerns, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Crossing Purgatory

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This striking tale, a literary western from Schanbacher (Migration Patterns), chronicles one momentous year in the life of a plainsman on the eve of the American Civil War. The young farmer, Thompson

Mar 25 2013 | Read Full Review of Crossing Purgatory: A Novel

Having buried his wife and two sons, Thompson Grey, a born farmer, walks away from the rich soil of his Indiana holding in May 1858. Filled with grief and regret, he heads west. Though he can barely stand human company, he accepts work with Capt. John Upperdine's Santa Fe Trail wagon train. When ...

Jun 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Crossing Purgatory: A Novel

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