Nominated by:

Zentralbibliothek Zürich, Switzerland

Ferguson Library, Stamford, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Atlantic Monthly Press, USA

History of Wolves

Emily Fridlund      

Teenage Linda lives with her parents in the austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outsider at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new history teacher Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is faced with child pornography charges, his arrest deeply affects Linda as she wrestles with her own fledgling desires and craving to belong.

And then the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Linda finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy, Paul. But with this new sense of belonging come expectations and secrets she doesn’t understand. Over the course of a summer, Linda makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life. As she struggles to find a way out of the sequestered world into which she was born, Linda confronts the life-and-death consequences of the things people do–and fail to do—for the people they love.

Winner of the McGinnis-Ritchie award for its first chapter, and A BEA Buzz Book and An ABA Indies Introduce Selection, Emily Fridlund’s agonizing and gorgeously written History of Wolves introduces a new writer of enormous range and talent.

About the author

Emily Fridlund grew up in Minnesota and currently lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Her first novel, History of Wolves, was a finalist for the Booker Prize and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Fiction. It was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award. It was also a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, A New York Times Editor’s Choice, one of USA Today’s Notable Books, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and a #1 Indie Next pick. The opening chapter was awarded the McGinnis-Ritchie Award for Fiction. Fridlund’s debut collection of stories, Catapult, won the Mary McCarthy Prize. Her fiction has appeared in a variety of journals, including Boston Review,  ZYZZYVA,  FiveChapters,  New Orleans Review, Sou’wester, New Delta Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Southwest Review.

Librarian’s comments:

The heroine of Fridlund’s novel narrates the events of one summer that culminated in the death of a little boy. Subjects such as religious sects, the secluded life in rural northern Minnesota and the difficulties of fitting in are beautifully described in this coming of age tale.

A stunning novel set in the austere woods of northern Minnesota tells the chilling story of a girl and the mysterious family she befriends.

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