Augusta Locke: A Novel

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A six-generation tale told from the perspective of matriarch Gussie Locke explores how abandonment played a pivotal role in her life, from her decision to run away from home and her struggles as a single mother to her own daughter's flight and her grandchildren's efforts to find answers, in a story set against the panoramic backdrop of the American West in the twentieth century. 15,000 first printing.

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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.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Henderson's novel is an extraordinarily beautiful creation, brought to the reader on the wings of the ravens that serve as its protagonist's familiars. Told in languorous prose virtually encrusted with the details of nature--very reminiscent of Annie Dillard--this story follows Gussie Locke through a lifetime of wandering. As soon as she can walk, Gussie is tracing the paths of her natural surroundings, following the flight of ravens through northern Minnesota, a few steps behind her father. As she grows, so does her preference for quiet, for the smells and sensations of the earth, and for a life away from the rules of polite society. Escaping her mother and new stepfather, she passes a passionate night that leaves her with child, and the rest of the novel follows the life she makes as a single mother in the first half of the twentieth century. The tender descriptions of Gussie's love for her child are especially touching, given her hardness elsewhere. Rarely is a woman portrayed in this way without reducing her to someone with some kind of gender confusion, but Henderson avoids these cliches. Gussie is truly her own kind of woman, and her own kind of mother. As much a story of lineage and the meaning of family as it is a story of nature, this novel covers a lot of ground in greater detail than one would imagine possible in some 400 pages. Read slowly, and enjoy this raw and haunting tale. Debi Lewis
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9780143038290: Augusta Locke

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ISBN 10:  014303829X ISBN 13:  9780143038290
Publisher: Penguin Books, 2007
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