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Cover for The River Beyond the World

The River Beyond the World

A Novel

Janet Peery


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A National Book Award Finalist for Fiction

Set in the Texas/Mexico border country in the years from 1944 to the present, The River Beyond the World is the story of two women on the edge of sexual, moral, political, and spiritual divides. Luisa Cantú is a girl from a Sierra Madre mountain village. After being impregnated in a fertility ritual of ancient origin, she leaves Mexico to work in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas as a housemaid for Mrs. Eddie Hatch, a woman with a strong will and a narrow worldview. Their complex relationship—by turns mystical and pragmatic, serious and comic—reveals the many ways human beings can wound one another, the nature of love and sacrifice, and the possibility of forgiveness.

Praise For The River Beyond the World: A Novel

“Lush . . . a beautiful novel, richly evocative of time and place, ambitious in scope, and flawlessly written.” —Sharon Oard Warner, Dallas Morning News

“Ms. Peery . . . ruminate[s] . . . on the mysteries of creation and loss, of forgiveness and love, of betrayal and what she calls the 'complex living heart of grace'.” —Megan Harlan, The New York Times Book Review

“A page-turner . . . speaks eloquently on themes of forgiveness, sexual awakening, deception ,redemption and transformation,, demonstrating that people can-and sometimes will-find remedy, solace, and a better way.” —Steve Byrne, The Detroit News/Free Press

“Begins in a visionary flush of language . . . Peery handles her narrative with grace and originality taht is consistently engaging . . . There is a clear river that runs through every human being's life, and The River Beyond the World . . . is about two interesting women who spend their lives trying to find it.” —Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe

Picador, 9780312169862, 304pp.

Publication Date: September 15, 1997

About the Author

Janet Peery is the author of Alligator Dance (stories), What the Thunder Said (a novella and stories), and the novel The River Beyond the World, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has received numerous honors for her fiction including the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Whiting Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. She lives in Cape Charles, Virginia.