American Fork (Paperback)
Roundfire Books, 9781780992709, 400pp.
Publication Date: May 25, 2018
List Price: 22.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Zacharias Harker is a brilliant botanist and an aging recluse. Haunted by his mistakes and living without his wife and daughter for the past twenty years, he hatches the idea to write his magnum opus, a book on the implications of climate change for humanity focused on the wildflowers of Utah's Wasatch Mountains. Just prior to the tragedy of 9/11, he hires a young artist, Alba, to paint flowers for the book. Over the course of their unlikely friendship, Harker convinces Alba to return to Chile to learn the story, long hidden from her by her mother, of her father's disappearance under Pinochet. Alba's discovery of her family history and her experience listening to the stories of Chileans who have resisted a government ruled by fear inspire her return to Utah with renewed purpose. As America grows more distrusting of immigration and diversity, Alba commits her art to the protection of the environment and to a more inclusive meaning of family and belonging while she and her husband, John, strive to learn Harker's hidden past and include him in their lives before it is too late. Rooted in the Mormon heritage of Utah but hemispheric in its reach, American Fork is a story of restoration and healing in the wake of loss and betrayal.
About the Author
A Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities at Brigham Young University, George B. Handley's creative writing, literary criticism, and civic engagement focus on the intersection between religion, literature, and the environment.