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History of Wolves

A Novel

About the Book

A New York Times Editors’ Choice

An O magazine Book to Pick Up

A USA Today Notable Book

An Amazon.com Best Book of the Month

A People Best New Book

Garnering rave reviews from around the world, History of Wolves is novelist Emily Fridlund’s darkly shimmering debut

Literary fiction’s newest golden girl.” —National Post

Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as the last vestige of a lost counterculture world. Isolated at home and an outsider at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and the new history teacher, Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is charged with possessing child pornography, the implications of his arrest deeply affect 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. It seems that her life finally has purpose 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.

A “compelling portrait of a troubled adolescent trying to find her way in a new and frightening world” (People), Emily Fridlund’s propulsive and gorgeously written History of Wolves introduces a new writer of enormous range and talent.

 

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“So delicately calibrated and precisely beautiful that one might not immediately sense the sledgehammer of pain building inside this book. And I mean that in the best way. What powerful tension and depth this provides!” —Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

“[A] stellar debut. . . . A sense of foreboding subtly permeates the story . . . [the] wordsmithing is fantastic. . . . Fridlund has elegantly crafted a striking protagonist whose dark leanings cap off the tragedy at the heart of this book, which is moving and disturbing.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Fridlund is an assured writer. . . . the sharp consequences for [the novel’s] characters make it singe and sing—a literary tour de force.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“The writing is beautiful . . . a triumph of tone and attitude. Lovers of character-driven literary fiction will embrace this.” —Booklist (starred review)

“As exquisite a first novel as I’ve ever encountered. Poetic, complex and utterly, heartbreakingly beautiful.” —T.C. Boyle, author of The Harder They Come

“Emily Fridlund’s language is generous and precise, her story grief-tempered and forcefully moving. History of Wolves is the loneliest thing I’ve read in years, and it’s gorgeous. These are haunted pages.” —Leif Enger, author of Peace Like a River

“Lyrical and beautiful. Its otherworldly winter escapism is just right for mid-season stir crazy. . . . Supple fiction formed in able hands, History of Wolves delivers Emily Fridlund to the doorstep of literature’s beau monde; I think she’ll find a good home there.” —National Post

“History of Wolves is as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it’s set, and with her first book, Fridlund has already proven herself to be a singular talent.” —NPR

“A novel of ideas that reads like smart pulp, a page-turner of craft and calibration.” —New York Times Book Review

“Mysteries multiply, and prose and plot braid together into an indelible story of fascination and dread.” —Vulture

“An absorbing contemplation of guilt and regret, agency and its abdication, and what it means to survive the wilderness.” —Boston Globe

“My, what big fictional teeth Emily Fridlund has.” —Vanity Fair

“With her debut novel, Fridlund might well find herself literary fiction’s newest golden girl. . . . History of Wolves is lyrical and beautiful. . . . Supple fiction formed in able hands.” —National Post

“A compelling portrait of a troubled adolescent trying to find her way in a new and frightening world.” —People

“What seems constant, unquestionable, is the rich natural reality that Fridlund has Linda document throughout her story. . . . Fridlund’s neatly calibrated narrative gives us to understand, nature, no less than a feeling, is subject to loss.” —Dallas News

“The chilly power of History of Wolves packs a wallop that’s hard to shake off . . . an elegant, troubling debut, both immersed in the natural world but equally concerned with issues of power, family, faith and the gap between understanding something and being able to act on the knowledge.” —Los Angeles Times

“Starkly affecting . . . one of the year’s most lauded debuts.” —Entertainment Weekly

“This captivating debut from a prodigious new talent injects taut suspense into a teenage girl’s awakenings as she confronts a web of mysteries in the chilly woods of Minnesota. A lavishly written novel with more than a glimmer of dread.” —O, the Oprah Magazine, 10 Titles to Pick Up Now

“Imagine one of those twisty ‘Girl’-titled mysteries in the hands of a great stylist. Fridlund’s debut is something like that, but better . . . an indelible story of fascination and dread.” —New York magazine

“Ominous, evocative . . . [Fridlund] writes with immediacy and precision.” —Seattle Times

“Profound and disturbing . . . a tragedy of Shakespearean scope.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Lyrically written . . . [it] keeps surprising to the end.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Impressive . . . Fridlund has superb control of her first-person narrator and of the ‘show, don’t tell’ rule, so the reader must listen carefully, looking for clues.” —Sydney Morning Herald

“[An] unnerving, beautifully crafted first novel.” —The Millions

“Fierce. Mesmerizing. Dazzling . . . [A] magnificent debut novel.” —Bustle

“[Fridlund is] a fine writer.” —Library Journal

“Fridlund’s writing is vivid: her natural descriptions elicit a superb sense of place.” —Daily Mail

“Compelling . . . History of Wolves stands out.” —Sunday Telegraph

“Life offers ‘Linda’ two simultaneous chances to fit in, although both, as we know from the start, go terribly wrong.” —The Guardian

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443453769
  • ISBN 10: 1443453765
  • Imprint: Harper Perennial
  • On Sale: 01/02/2018
  • Pages: 288
  • List Price: 19.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC2: FICTION / General

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

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