Fall Back Down When I Die

Fall Back Down When I Die

by Joe Wilkins

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

For readers of My Absolute Darling and Fourth of July Creek, a "riveting and timely" Montana story about the unbreakable bond between a young man and the abandoned boy put in his care (Jess Walter), as old grievances of land and blood are visited upon them.


Wendell Newman, a young ranch hand in Montana, has recently lost his mother, leaving him an orphan. His bank account holds less than a hundred dollars, and he owes back taxes on what remains of the land his parents owned, as well as money for the surgeries that failed to save his mother's life.


An unexpected deliverance arrives in the form of seven-year-old Rowdy Burns, the mute and traumatized son of Wendell's incarcerated cousin. When Rowdy is put under his care, what begins as an ordeal for Wendell turns into a powerful bond, as he comes to love the boy more than he ever thought possible. That bond will be stretched to the breaking point during the first legal wolf hunt in Montana in more than thirty years, when a murder ignites a desperate chase.


Caught on the wrong side of a disaffected fringe group, Wendell is determined both to protect Rowdy and to avoid the same violent fate that claimed his own father. A gripping story set in a fractured and misunderstood community, Fall Back Down When I Die is a haunting and unforgettable tale of sacrificial love.


Finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316475341
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 01/07/2020
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 542,031
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Joe Wilkins is the author of the award-winning memoir The Mountain and the Fathers. His work has appeared in the Georgia Review, the Harvard Review, Slate, and elsewhere. He is a Pushcart Prize winner and a finalist for the National Magazine Award and the PEN/USA Award. He lives with his wife and two children in western Oregon, where he teaches writing at Linfield College.

What People are Saying About This

National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins - Jess Walter

“Joe Wilkins is a writer of great power and heart, and Fall Back Down When I Die is a riveting and timely novel.”

Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of the national bestsellers The House of Broken Angels and The Hummingbird's Daughter - Luis Alberto Urrea

"Joe Wilkins has risen to a very special peak with this heartrending novel of hard living and lonesome hope in the vast American landscape. I cannot praise it enough.”

Author of the national bestsellers Cowboys Are My Weakness and Sight Hound - Pam Houston

“With a passion matched only by his compassion, Joe Wilkins has crafted a novel that perfectly explicates the clash between the cowboys and ranchers of the old West and the environmentalists and seekers of the new. No polemic, Fall Back Down When I Die is populated by vibrant characters drawn with fairness and deep heart, boys and men, girls and women who will get under your skin and stay there, and is full of vivid descriptions of the Montana landscape that are spot-on and swoon-worthy. Finally, this is a book about America: its violence, its traumas, its entitlements, and its stultifying rage.”

Author of The Which Way Tree - Elizabeth Crook

"The poetry of this beautiful novel isn't only in the language—and it's certainly in that—but also in Joe Wilkins's keen understanding of the Bull Mountains in eastern Montana, of the people who have left their mark on the land there, or tried to erase it, and of the mysterious complexities of the human heart that drive us to one side of the law or the other.”

National Book Award finalist and bestselling author of The Brothers K and The River Why - David James Duncan

“In an electric narrative that busts out in a rare kind of rural poetry when you least expect it, this brilliant novel gives us hard-pressed country people trying to make a life in a beautiful but unforgiving landscape among neighbors and family who, thanks to political disinformation, have slid us from civility to slander, facts to lies, law to vigilantism, and now answer the Gospel call to compassion with their arsenals. Fall Back Down When I Die places red state zeitgeist and gray wolves squarely in its sights, then shoots both, to my grateful amazement, with profound understanding and compassion. Thank heaven for Joe Wilkins's voice of mercy calling out in the post-Western night.”

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