Prairie Fever (Hardcover)
Algonquin Books, 9781616208530, 320pp.
Publication Date: May 21, 2019
Set in the hardscrabble landscape of early 1900s Oklahoma, but timeless in its sensibility, Prairie Fever traces the dynamic between two sisters: the pragmatic Lorena and the chimerical Elise. Their connection to each other supersedes all else, until the arrival of a schoolteacher sunders the sisters’ relationship as they both begin to fall for him. With poetic intensity and the deadpan humor of Paulette Jiles and Charles Portis, Parker reminds us of how our choices are often driven by our passions. Expansive and intimate, Prairie Fever tells the story of characters tested as much by life on the prairie as they are by their own churning hearts.
About the Author
Michael Parker is the author of six novels and three collections of stories. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times Magazine, the Oxford American, Runner’s World, Men’s Journal, and elsewhere. His work has been anthologized in The O. Henry Prize Stories and The Pushcart Prize. He is the Nicholas and Nancy Vacc Distinguished Professor in the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He lives in Saxapahaw, North Carolina, and Austin, Texas.
Praise For Prairie Fever…
—Tom Drury, author of Pacific
“Prairie Fever is an exceptionally charming novel about the wonders and troubles of love, land, and language. Witty and poignant, the novel is as elegantly constructed as a poem, and it features the best dialogue this side—or any side—of the Natchez Trace. Yet another wonderful book from Michael Parker.”
—Chris Bachelder, author of The Throwback Special
“What a terrific book this is, wonderful and strange . . . a whole family acting out what can and can’t be forgotten, against the backdrops of prairie and range—characters so magnificently and sometimes comically stubborn I really couldn’t put the book down. And what other novel has a character writing letters to a dead horse? I was completely taken by this book.”
—Joan Silber, author of Improvement
“Michael Parker has captured a time, place, and sisterhood so perfectly it hurts to turn the last page. Prairie Fever is a riveting, atmospheric dream of a novel.”
—Dominic Smith, author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
“That a love story of this strangeness and rightness can come out of the event of a girl nearly dead in a storm is a testament to the wonder that is Michael Parker’s talent. Not least, he’s invented a language, a formal way of speaking that is perfectly suited to his people and to this dreamy novel.”
—Jane Hamilton, author of The Excellent Lombards