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History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
  

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Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017.

Already being acclaimed as one of the most exciting new debuts of 2017, Emily Fridlund's History of Wolves is a brilliant coming-of-age novel that will appeal to fans of The Girls and The Virgin Suicides.

Linda, age 14, lives on a dying commune on the edge of a lake in the Midwest of America. She and her parents are the last remaining inhabitants, the others having long since left amid bitter acrimony. She has grown up isolated both by geography and her understanding of the world, and is an outsider at school, regarded as a freak.

One day she notices the arrival of a young family in a cabin on the opposite side of the lake. She starts to befriend them, first their four-year-old son Paul, and then his young mother Patra, who is also lonely and isolated. For the first time she feels a sense of belonging that has been missing from her life.

Leo, the father, is a university professor and an enigmatic figure, perpetually absent. When he returns home, Linda is shunned by the family unit. Desperate to be accepted again, she struggles to resume her place in their home and fails to see the terrible warning signals, which have such devastating consequences.

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Synopsis

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

How far would you go to belong? Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in an ex-commune beside a lake in the beautiful, austere backwoods of northern Minnesota. The other girls at school call Linda 'Freak', or 'Commie'. Her parents mostly leave her to her own devices, whilst the other inhabitants have grown up and moved on. So when the perfect family - mother, father and their little boy, Paul - move into the cabin across the lake, Linda insinuates her way into their orbit. She begins to babysit Paul and feels welcome, that she finally has a place to belong. Yet something isn't right. Drawn into secrets she doesn't understand, Linda must make a choice. But how can a girl with no real knowledge of the world understand what the consequences will be?

Reviews

Life offers Linda two simultaneous chances to fit in, although both, as we know from the start, go terribly wrong GUARDIAN

The chilling plot is only part of the mesmerising power of this assured and striking debut from this American novelist PRESS ASSOCIATION

A writer with a great future ahead of her...her prose is exquisite -- Louise Doughty

First thing you see is the bracing intelligence of the book's young narrator - no big-eyed sentiments for Linda, raised amid blighted ideals in the ceaseless winters and vast swamps of northern Minnesota. So observant is Linda that you trust her instantly, but it's her own search for trust, for connection even at enormous cost, that will hold you to the final hour. Emily Fridlund's language is generous and precise, her story grief-tempered and forcefully moving. History of Wolves is the loneliest thing I've read in years, and it's gorgeous. These are haunted pages -- Leif Enger

As exquisite a first novel as I've ever encountered. Poetic, complex and utterly, heartbreakingly beautiful -- T. C. Boyle, author of The Harder They Come

So delicately calibrated and precisely beautiful that one might not immediately sense the sledgehammer of pain building inside this book. And I mean that in the best way. What powerful tension and depth -- Aimee Bender, author of The Color Master and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Reminds me of Curtis Sittenfeld...so original, a beautiful literary work -- Viv Groskop

The chilling plot is only part of the mesmerising power of this assured and striking debut from this American novelist PRESS ASSOCIATION

About the Author

Emily Fridlund grew up in Minnesota. She holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Her collection of stories, Catapult, was chosen by Ben Marcus for the Mary McCarthy Prize and will be published by Sarabande Books. She lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York. History of Wolves is her first novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

23rd February 2017

Author

Emily Fridlund

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Publisher

Weidenfeld & Nicolson an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Format

Hardback
288 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Man Booker 2017

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781474602945

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