Nazareth, North Dakota by Tommy Zurhellen

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This gem of a novel--a splendid recasting and modern retelling of the story of the young messiah--is a fast, quirky, dirt-kicking ride through the Badlands of North Dakota from the early 1980s to the present, complete with feathered locks, KISS cover bands, and fire-and-brimstone preachers. It's an adventurous, irresistible tale about everything from a 31-year-old fugitive mom who escapes a motel shootout with an abandoned newborn to a corrupt sheriff, a kindhearted carpenter, the world's oldest man, and the chosen paths of two hell-raising, miracle-bent cousins. (There's also a county fair elephant on the loose, just to keep you on your toes.)This incandescent debut is an authentic religious allegory connecting Lakota history with scripture. It contains plot twists and undeniable truths as deep and wide as the Little Missouri River, with ideas and messages so big, so earthshaking, so unmistakably divine, they do more than transform the little town of Nazareth. They change the world.

About Tommy Zurhellen

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Tommy Zurhellen grew up in New York City. His fiction has appeared widely in Carolina Quarterly, Quarterly West, Passages North, Appalachee Review, and elsewhere. Currently he teaches writing in upstate New York. This is his first novel. AUTHOR HOME: Staatsburg, NY
Published April 8, 2011 by Atticus Books. 212 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Nazareth, North Dakota

Kirkus Reviews

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Zurhellen’s debut is a collection of loosely linked monologues and stories (two of them previously published) in search of a story line.

Apr 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Nazareth, North Dakota

Publishers Weekly

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At its best, this debut novel reveals the hardscrabble life of normal, unguided people who put their last dollars in the juke box and don't worry about what will happen when the song ends.

Mar 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Nazareth, North Dakota

New York Journal of Books

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In Nazareth, North Dakota, debut novelist Tommy Zurhellen lovingly reimagines the New Testament as a series of interlocking tales set in the northernmost regions of the American heartland.

Apr 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Nazareth, North Dakota

Washington Independent Review of Books

In fact, it is he who narrates the first book, “The Annunciation.” He knows “a child’s about to be born,” and he’s determined “to change the story” — “Hell if I’m going to be the one left here alone while everybody else is shown the way to paradise.” Of course, the outcome of this story is up t...

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