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Potomac Books


Haven's Wake, Haven's Wake, 080324357X, 0-8032-4357-X, 978-0-8032-4357-6, 9780803243576, Ladette Randolph, Flyover Fiction, Haven's Wake, 0803245327, 0-8032-4532-7, 978-0-8032-4532-7, 9780803245327, Ladette Randolph, Flyover Fictio

Haven's Wake
Ladette Randolph

2013. 256 pp.
$16.95 t

Early July, and the corn in eastern Nebraska stands ten feet tall; after a near-decade of drought, it seems too good to be true, and everyone is watching the sky for trouble. For the Grebels, whose plots of organic crops trace a modest patchwork among the vast fields of soybeans and corn, trouble arrives from a different quarter in the form of Elsa’s voice on her estranged son’s answering machine: “Your father’s dead. You’ll probably want to come home.” 

When a tractor accident fells the patriarch of this Mennonite family, the threads holding them together are suddenly drawn taut, singing with the tensions of a lifetime’s worth of love and faith, betrayal and shame. Through the competing voices of those gathered for Haven Grebel’s funeral, acts of loyalty and failures, long-suppressed resentments and a tragic secret are brought to light, expressing a larger, complex truth.

Ladette Randolph is the editor-in-chief of Ploughshares magazine and is Distinguished Publisher-in-Residence at Emerson College. She is the award-winning author of A Sandhills Ballad (Nebraska, 2011), This Is Not the Tropics, and Leaving the Pink House, and editor of two anthologies, including A Different Plain: Contemporary Nebraska Fiction Writers. She is the recipient of the Pushcart Prize, a Rona Jaffe Foundation grant, four Nebraska Book Awards, and the Virginia Faulkner Award.

Haven’s Wake is about memory and silence, and about secrets and the fear of them. But above all, it’s a tale of love and loyalty. At the very heart of this deeply heartfelt novel is the story of the restorative power of family and tradition.”—Timothy Schaffert, author of The Coffins of Little Hope

“Ladette Randolph traces that finest of lines between what counts as betrayal and what counts as fidelity in a family, what counts as love and what counts as duty over the generations, what counts as desire and what counts as necessity in a home. Haven’s Wake is a moving reckoning of disappointments and glories.”—William Lychack, author of The Architect of Flowers

“A song of a story—uplifting, tender, heart-shattering. Ladette Randolph is a master. These characters are so real to me I feel I could drive to Nebraska and find them, easily.”—Debra Magpie Earling, author of Perma Red

"[Haven's Wake is] lyrically written and a wonderful read."—Ellen Meeropol,

"With prose that vivifies the intricate patchwork of characters and captures the landscape's simplicity, Haven's Wake explores 'the various attempts to explain the unexplainable,' including family, faith, and death."Katharine Fronk, Booklist Online

"Randolph is an excellent writer, telling the story with a frankness and humor that keeps it from sinking into melodrama."—Publishers Weekly

2014 Nebraska Book Award in Fiction, Honor

Publication of this volume was assisted by a grant from the Friends of the University of Nebraska Press.

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