From the winner of the Center for Fiction Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, an elegiac and arresting novel about a young couple whose loveand everything they know to be trueis threatened by the arrival of an unwelcome stranger in their collapsing east Colorado town
978-0-8021-2490-6 • $16.00 • Paperback • July 2016
Bonnie Nadzamauthor of the critically acclaimed, award-winning debut, Lambreturns with this scorching, haunting story of a modern-day “living ghost town” on the brink of collapse and the rural community confronted with either chasing the promise of a better life elsewhere oragainst all reasonstaying where they are.
Lions is set on the high plains of Colorado, a nearly deserted place, steeped in local legends and sparse in population. Built to be a glorious western city upon a hill, it was never fit for farming, mining, trading, or any of the illusory sources of wealth its pioneers imagined. The Walkers have been settled on its barren terrain for generationsa simple family in a town otherwise still chasing dreams of bigger, better, brighter.
When a traveling stranger appears one day, his unsettling presence sets off a chain reaction that will change the fates of everyone he encounters and accelerate the deterioration of Lions. It begins with the patriarch John Walker as he succumbs to a heart attack. His devastated son, Gordon, is forced to choose between leaving for college with his girlfriend, Leigh, and staying with his family to look after their flailing welding shop and, it is believed, to continue carrying out a mysterious task bequeathed to all Walker men. While Leigh is desperate to make a life in the world beyond the desolation of Lions, Gordon is hesitant to leave it behind. As more families abandon the town, he is faced with what seem to be their reasonable choices and the burden of betraying his own heart.
A story of awakening, Lions is an exquisite novel that explores ambition and an American obsession with self-improvement, as well as the responsibilities we have to ourselves and each other.