Augusta Locke: A Novel

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9780670034918: Augusta Locke: A Novel

One womanís tough, spirited life in the deserts and lonely ranges of the twentieth-century West

Novelist William Haywood Henderson has won acclaim for his precisely rendered and achingly beautiful evocations of land and nature and his ability to bring to vivid life the contemporary West of ranch hands and drifters. Of his most recent novel, The Rest of the Earth, Annie Proulx remarked that "Henderson writes some of the most evocative and transcendently beautiful prose in contemporary American literature."

Set primarily in Wyoming, Hendersonís new novel is the chronicle of six generations of a family, viewed through the lens of one womanís very long life. Augusta "Gussie" Locke is born in Minnesota in 1903. As a teenager she moves west with her mother to Colorado and then runs away from home. A one-night stand with a traveling soldier leaves her pregnant, and with her daughter, Anne, she eventually finds a life in Wyoming running supplies to oil and mineral crews in the Great Basin Divide. Through the years, Gussie keeps moving, abandoning people and places, being abandoned herself; Anne runs away just as her mother had, never to be seen again. Settling in the Wind River Range, Augusta, alone again, builds a new life until, years later, her grandson and great-granddaughter seek to discover the woman behind the family myth. Spanning the twentieth century, Augustaís extraordinary trials and tribulations play out themes of love and loss, redemption and reconciliation. Redolent with myth, humor, strange landscapes, and stark reality, Augusta Locke is an indelible portrait of a woman who through great spirit and toughness of character blazes her own trail.

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About the Author:

William Haywood Henderson has taught creative writing at Harvard and Brown and is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in creative writing at Stanford. He is the author of two novels, The Rest of the Earth and Native. He grew up in Colorado and Wyoming.

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