by Kristen Millares Young


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The brilliance of Subduction only suggests the wonders to come. It is a good day for us when Kristen Millares Young puts pen to paper. Highly recommended.

--Luis Alberto Urrea, winner of the American Book Award, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, author of The House of Broken Angels, The Devil's Highway, Queen of America, Into the Beautiful North, The Hummingbird's Daughter.

In this commanding novel, Kristen Millares Young captures the brutality of an anthropological gaze upon a Makah community. Her complex, exquisitely shaped characters embody the calamity of intrusion and the beauty of resilience.

--Elissa Washuta, author of My Body is a Book of Rules and Starvation Mode

Young beautifully and vividly renders the Pacific Northwest, particularly the unique world of Neah Bay. Subduction is at once a thought-provoking meditation on the geography and geology of the natural world and a generous exploration of the natural shifts and movements that shape her characters.

-- Jonathan Evison, New York Times bestselling author, Lawn Boy, This is Your Life Harriet Chance!, West of Here, All About Lulu, and The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

Fleeing the shattered remains of her marriage and a betrayal by her sister, in the throes of a midlife freefall, Latina anthropologist Claudia retreats from Seattle to Neah Bay, a Native American whaling village on the jagged Pacific coast. Claudia yearns to lose herself to the songs of the tribe and the secrets of her guide, a spirited hoarder named Maggie. But when, spurred by his mother's failing memory, Maggie's prodigal son Peter returns seeking answers to his father's murder, Claudia discovers in him the abandon she craves. Through the passionate and violent collision of these two outsiders, Subduction portrays not only their strange allegiance after grievous losses but also their imperfect attempts to find community on the Makah Indian Reservation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597098922
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 04/14/2020
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 605,735
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Kristen Millares Young is a prize-winning journalist and essayist whose work appears in the Washington Post, the Guardian and the New York Times, along with the anthologies Pie & Whiskey, a 2017 New York Times New & Notable Book, and Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity. The current Prose Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House, Kristen was the researcher for the New York Times team that produced “Snow Fall,” which won a Pulitzer Prize. She graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in history and literature, later earning her MFA from the University of Washington. From 2016 to 2019, Kristen served as board chair of InvestigateWest, a nonprofit news studio she cofounded in Seattle, where she lives with her family.

Read an Excerpt

The shore pulled away. Froth churned from its feet to hers. The engines hummed through her bones.

From the aft deck, Claudia looked back toward the city they made home. She searched the skyline for places they had been happy—the top of the space needle, a waterfront park, the Ferris wheel—until her westward passage split the horizon into expanses of gray, demarcated into sea and sky by hue alone.

Puget Sound opened in fathoms below the ferry.

Claudia left town without saying her goodbyes. Seattle was a small world. Movers must have swarmed her house to clear out Andrew’s belongings in the space of one morning. The neighbors would have seen.

What had they seen? She couldn’t bring herself to ask whether her sister had been on site to supervise, and Claudia hid her phone in case someone felt like sending unsolicited glimpses—of Maria deciding what to take, practicing wifeliness. Slipping Andrew a kiss for courage as the first box was packed. Claudia pictured Maria’s thick curls, her narrow shoulders, her rounded hips. Birthing hips.

The broadcaster’s voice echoed through the loudspeakers, cautioning passengers about unknown items and suspicious activity.

It was cowardly of Andrew not to deliver the news in person. Worse still, Maria. Did they think she would handle it poorly? That she was dangerous?

Listening to the roar of the props, Claudia saw what her fate might have been—her body lying in the bathtub, blue and bloated. Afloat. Her stomach twisted. It was more than she could take—or forgive. They know what they are doing, she thought. Yet they think I deserve it.

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