Join acclaimed author Robert Olmstead for a discussion and signing of his ninth book, Savage Country (released September 26, Algonquin Books), an arresting novel that taps an extraordinary, blood-drenched story of nineteenth century greed, savagery, and desire. Olmstead is a revered writer routinely placed in the company of Cormac McCarthy, Jim Harrison, Charles Portis, and Ron Rash.
With novels such as The Coldest Night—finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize—and Coal Black Horse—winner of the Heartland Prize for Fiction—Robert Olmstead has applied his singular vision of America’s past with a lyrical and fierce intensity. “Violent and meditative, hopeless and elegiac, ribald and somber,” says The New York Times Book Review, “Olmstead’s voice draws its energy from contradiction and daring juxtapositions of language and event….He writes heartbreaking, accurate, moving prose.” Acclaimed for his propulsive, cinematic storytelling, Olmstead’s For Bright Star is headed to the big screen starring Joaquin Phoenix with Casey Affleck directing.
Set against a backdrop of the great buffalo hunts that slaughtered the once magnificent herds populating the plains, Savage Country is an expansive yet intimate narrative and has an unlikely protagonist at its center: an indefatigable woman. Elizabeth Coughlin, a widow bankrupted by her husband’s folly and death, embarks on a buffalo hunt with her estranged and mysterious brother-in-law, Michael. As they plunge south across the aptly named Deadline—demarcating Indian Territory from the home state of Kansas—they encounter countless threats to life itself: rattlesnakes, rabies, wildfire, lightning strikes, blue northers, flash floods. The Comanche may soon return to put an end to their undertaking. But the cruelest enemy may be the work itself, which unravels their very souls and will change Elizabeth and Michael forever.
Robert Olmstead is the author of eight previous books. Along with being a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, The Coldest Night was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2012, a Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Fiction Book of 2012, and an Amazon Best Book of 2012. Coal Black Horse was the winner of the Ohioana Award and was a #1 Book Sense pick. Far Bright Star was the winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award. Olmstead is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an NEA grant and is a professor at Ohio Wesleyan University.