The Mercy Seat by Rilla Askew

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Synopsis

Few first novels garner the kind of powerful praise awarded this epic story that takes place on the dusty, remorseless Oklahoma frontier, where two brothers are deadlocked in a furious rivalry. Fayette is an enterprising schemer hoping to cash in on his brother's talents as a gunsmith. John, determined not to repeat the crime that forced both families to flee their Kentucky homes, doggedly follows his tenacious brother west, while he watches his own family disintegrate. Wondrously told through the wary eyes of John's ten-year-old daughter, Mattie, whose gift of premonition proves to be both a blessing and a curse, The Mercy Seat resounds with the rhythms of the Old Testament even as it explores the mysteries of the Native American spirit world. Sharing Faulkner's understanding of the inescapable pull of family and history, and Cormac McCarthy's appreciation of the stark beauty of the American wilderness, Rilla Askew imbues this momentous work with her tremendous energy and emotional range. It is an extraordinary novel from a prodigious new talent.
Strange Business, a collection of linked stories that won the 1993 Oklahoma Book Award, is available from Penguin.


 

About Rilla Askew

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Rilla Askew is the author of four novels. She received a 2009 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dublin IMPAC Prize, and twice received the Oklahoma Book Award. She divides her time between upstate New York and Oklahoma.
 
Published May 1, 1998 by Penguin Books. 450 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Arts & Photography. Fiction

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