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What Becomes Us
     

What Becomes Us

by Micah Perks
 

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A modern-day pioneer in search of a new life, pregnant Evie leaves her abusive husband and lands in a close-knit community divided by local colonial history—a story that goes deep to the roots of the American conscience. Following a near fatal accident, Evie, a mild-mannered, pregnant school teacher, abandons her controlling husband and flees Santa Cruz,

Overview

A modern-day pioneer in search of a new life, pregnant Evie leaves her abusive husband and lands in a close-knit community divided by local colonial history—a story that goes deep to the roots of the American conscience. Following a near fatal accident, Evie, a mild-mannered, pregnant school teacher, abandons her controlling husband and flees Santa Cruz, California for the wilds of western New York. She rents a farm house on a dead end road in a seemingly ideal, multi-cultural community. When she begins teaching at the local high school, she becomes obsessed with an assigned book, The Captivity and Restoration of Mary Rowlandson. This early American classic is the first book written by a woman in the Americas and details Rowlandson's harrowing captivity during King Philip's War in the seventeenth century. As Mary Rowlandson's insatiable hunger begins to fill Evie's dreams, Evie wonders if she may actually be haunted. At the same time, Evie becomes obsessed with her neighbor, a married Chilean immigrant. As she grows more pregnant, her desires/hunger grows out of control, and threaten to destroy her adopted community.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Micah Perks' book has everything a reader could hope for — her language is lively, her characters appealing. Set in a storied landscape, with themes of independence and community. Romance! History! Food! Plus a tale to tell and some surprising people to tell it. There is real magic here. Micah magic! Completely original, completely delightful."

- Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

“Micah Perk's wonderful and surprising new novel proves that the life of a small-town schoolteacher can be by turns comic, dramatic, joyful, and violent.”

- Alison Lurie

"I've been obsessed with Mary Rowlandson for 20 years, and was delighted to find that Micah Perks writes about her with fireworks. This is a warm, wild, hilarious, eccentric and moving book."

- Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies and Arcadia

"No matter where we come from, we all get born again American. Micah Perks is our literary doula working beside the midwives who haunt our American beginnings: Mary Rowlandson, Queen Weetamoo, and civil disobedient missionary Ma — rebirthing us even as we are fetal captives in generational cycles of puritanical pioneering and savagery. We emerge with insatiable hunger, innocent and corruptible, and Micah Perks, with gentle wit and deft storytelling, coaxes us to love and song."

- Karen Tei Yamashita, author of I Hotel

"Micah Perks is one of the most radiantly original writers around. WHAT BECOMES US, exhilarating and terrifying, is a novel I love for its wild beauty, its offbeat inventiveness, its effervescent language, and the artfulness with which it has been shaped. This is a brilliant novel."

- Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen

"Every once in a while a book not only takes us on a journey, it transports us. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had fully entered this world. The characters are so finely drawn, the story so well told—I felt as if I was carrying a candle through a landscape haunted by Shirley Jackson. A little bit gothic, wonderfully strange, delightfully spooky. A unique love story nested in a Pandora’s box of wonder. WHAT BECOMES US is bedazzling."

- Debra Magpie Earling, author of Perma Red

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781937402983
Publisher:
Outpost19
Publication date:
10/04/2016
Pages:
284
Sales rank:
714,839
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Micah Perks is the author of a novel, We Are Gathered Here, a memoir, Pagan Time, and a long personal essay from Shebooks, Alone In The Woods. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Epoch, Zyzzyva, Tin House, The Toast, OZY and The Rumpus, amongst many journals and anthologies. She has won an NEA, five Pushcart Prize nominations, and the New Guard Machigonne 2014 Fiction Prize. She received her BA and MFA from Cornell University and now lives with her family in Santa Cruz where she co-directs the creative writing program at UCSC. More info and work at micahperks.com

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