Karl Marlantes’s debut novel Matterhorn has been hailed as a modern classic of war literature. In his new novel, Deep River , Marlantes turns to another mode of storytellingthe family epicto craft a stunningly expansive narrative of human suffering, courage, and reinvention.
In the early 1900s, as the oppression of Russia’s imperial rule takes its toll on Finland, the three Koski siblingsIlmari, Matti, and the politicized young Ainoare forced to flee to the United States. Not far from the majestic Columbia River, the siblings settle among other Finns in a logging community in southern Washington, where the first harvesting of the colossal old-growth forests begets rapid development, and radical labor movements begin to catch fire. The brothers face the excitement and danger of pioneering this frontier wildernessclimbing and felling trees one-hundred meters highwhile Aino, foremost of the books many strong, independent women, devotes herself to organizing the industry’s first unions. As the Koski siblings strive to rebuild lives and families in an America in flux, they also try to hold fast to the traditions of a home they left behind.
Layered with fascinating historical detail, this is a novel that breathes deeply of the sun-dappled forest and bears witness to the stump-ridden fields the loggers, and the first waves of modernity, leave behind. At its heart, Deep River is an ambitious and timely exploration of the place of the individual, and of the immigrant, in an America still in the process of defining its own identity.
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 8.70(h) x 2.00(d)|
About the Author
Karl Marlantes graduated from Yale University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, before serving as a Marine in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten air medals. He is the bestselling author of Matterhorn and What It Is Like to Go to War. He lives in rural Washington.
Read an Excerpt
Aino focused on one steam donkey. The cable came up off the ground as the tension increased. She couldn’t follow the entire line of it, because the terrain was so rugged, but could see its end where it wound around an anchoring block that must have weighed a thousand pounds. The block was cinched with a smaller cable to a stump that was at least fourteen feet in diameter. She marveled at the sight. How could men, weighing 150 pounds, have hauled all this dead weight of steel and cable across that terrain?
Those men were now scrambling for safety, ducking behind stumps, finding shelter in the torn ground, as more steam poured into the donkey’s pistons. The massive cable drums whirred, jerking a log weighing several tons from where it laid, bringing it bucking and slamming through the slash like a runaway railroad car to the landing as fast as the massive cable drums could turn.
Ilmari told her that just one of these Douglas firs could produce enough lumber to build three or four houses. She hadn’t believed him. With each splintering, anguished crackle, when fibers that had held for centuries first started to part, with each moaning, creaking groan as the tree leaned and tore loose from its stump, with each shouted whisper of air rushing through the limbs of a rapidly accelerating top, with each ground-shaking crash signaling a tree’s death, she believed. Everything about the place spoke danger and filled her withrespect for these men.