By Jayne Anne Phillips

Vintage, Paperback, 9780375727399, 336pp.

Publication Date: December 3, 2002

In a West Virginia forest in 1963, a group of children at summer camp enter a foreboding Eden and experience an unexpected rite of passage. Shelter""is an astonishing portrayal of an American loss of innocence as witnessed by a mysterious drifter named Parson, two young sisters, Lenny and Alma, and a feral boy called Buddy. Together they come to understand bravery and the importance of compassion.
Phillips unearths a dangerous beauty in this primeval terrain and in the hearts of her characters. Lies, secrets, erotic initiations, and the bonds of love between friends, families, and generations are transformed in a leafy wilderness undiminished by societal rules and dilemmas. Cast in Phillips' stunning prose, with an unpredictable cast of characters and a shadowy, suspenseful narrative, "Shelter" is a an enduring achievement from one of the finest writers of our time.

About the Author
Jayne Anne Phillips is the author of "Lark and Termite, Motherkind, Shelter, "and "Machine Dreams", and the widely anthologized collections of stories, "Fast Lanes "and "Black Tickets". A National Book Award and National Book Critic's Circle Award finalist, Phillips is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Bunting Fellowship, the Sue Kaufman Prize, and an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She is Distinguished Professor of English and Director of the MFA Program at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey, where she established The Writers At Newark Reading Series. Information, essays and text source photographs on her fiction can be viewed at

Praise For Shelter

“Astonishing. . . . Phillips has gone into the garden and headed straight for the serpent’s throat.” –The Boston Globe

“Mesmerizing. . . . The physical world is so thoroughly and beautifully evoked that within pages we’re completely drawn in.” –The Washington Post

“Written in prose that is often breathtakingly beautiful, Shelter is a rich, vivid novel of moral and psychological complexity destined to stand alongside works by Faulkner and other masters of Southern literature.” –Vanity Fair

“This defiant, frighteningly beautiful novel is as disturbing as its setting. Built to last, Shelter feels like Phillips’ bid for immortality.” –Harper’s Bazaar