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From the critically acclaimed author of Bloodroot, a gripping, wondrously evocative novel of a family in turmoil, set against the backdrop of real-life historical event—the story of three days in the summer of 1936, as a government-built dam is about to flood an Appalachian town, and a little girl goes missing.
A river called Long Man has coursed through East Tennessee from time immemorial, bringing sustenance to the people who farm along its banks and who trade among its small towns. But as Long Man opens, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s plans to dam the river and flood the town of Yuneetah for the sake of progress—to bring electricity and jobs to the region—are about to take effect. Just a few days remain before the river will rise, and most of the town has been evacuated. Among the holdouts is a young, headstrong mother, Annie Clyde Dodson, whose ancestors have lived for generations on her mountaintop farm; she’ll do anything to ensure that her three-year-old daughter, Gracie, will inherit the family’s land. But her husband wants to make a fresh start in Michigan, where he’s found work that will bring the family a more secure future. As the deadline looms, a storm as powerful as the emotions between them rages outside their door. Suddenly they realize that Gracie is nowhere to be found. Has the little girl simply wandered off into the rain? Or has she been taken by Amos, the mysterious drifter who has come back to Yuneetah, perhaps to save his hometown in a last, desperate act of violence?
Suspenseful, visceral, gorgeously told, Long Man is a searing portrait of a tight-knit community brought together by change and crisis, and of one family facing a terrifying ticking clock. A novel set in history that resonates with our own times, it is a dazzling and unforgettable tour de force.
About the Author
Amy Greene is the author of the national bestseller Bloodroot. She was born and raised in the foothills of East Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains, where she lives with her husband and two children.
Praise for Long Man…
A WASHINGTON POST BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
“Searing. . . . [A] poetic literary thriller. . . . An engrossing blend of raw tension and gorgeous reflection.” —The Washington Post
“Powerful. . . . Aching, passionate, and vivid.” —Daniel Woodrell, The New York Times Book Review
"Swift, gorgeous and wickedly smart, Long Man is nearly perfect. . . . As compulsively readable as it is intellectually profound. . . . Greene is a major American novelist in waiting."--Minneapolis Star Tribune, Critics' Pick
“Luminous. . . . In language as unadorned and lovely as a country quilt, Greene invites the reader deeply into the seclusion of the valley and the mountains above. A remarkable love letter to a forgotten time and place.” —The Atlanta Constitution
“This book gives me hope for the future of the literary novel. . . . A virtually perfect blend of lyrical writing and page-turning plot. . . . Beautiful.” —Karen Sandstrom, The Plain Dealer
“A story that forces us to examine our relationship with nature, our understanding of community and, significantly, of social class. . . . [Greene] lends this Depression-era story a moral and ethical vibrancy that we should all pay attention to.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“A tense tale of the sacrifices people make in the name of progress.” —New York Post
“Exquisite . . . Greene’s prose is as mesmerizing as the story she weaves. Readers will never forget this vividly drawn landscape. . . . [The novel’s] breathtaking suspense and images will haunt me forever.” —Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life
“Like Greene’s debut, Bloodroot, the prevailing tone of Long Man is solemn, elegiac. . . . Greene allows the back stories of this small but rich cast of characters to overlap in places, like thin pleats in a skirt.” —The Toronto Star
“Greene even-handedly renders this lost and mostly forgotten world to perfection.” —The Free Lance-Star
“Rich and absorbing. Equal parts mystery, family saga, and backwoods romance, Long Man captures the collision of hardscrabble folk with the unstoppable modern world.” —Stewart O’Nan, author of A Prayer for the Dying and Emily, Alone
“Long Man reads like a painting—the kind that unravels from a scroll, with a landscape that moves through space and time. . . . Greene, born and raised in East Tennessee, evokes [beauty] with the simplest strokes.” —The Greenville News
“Vibrant. . . . The novel grapples with real questions about our relationship to nature and the price of progress, even as it delivers a story as touching and timeless as a folk tale.” —Nashville Scene
“One of the best young chroniclers of contemporary Appalachia. . . . Long Man dramatizes historical events that are still controversial today and raises issues that will resonate strongly.” —Mountain Xpress
“A gem. . . . Long Man is so palpably real that I feel I’ve spent the last few days actually living in Greene’s corner of Depression-era Tennessee. It is a special book—a beautiful piece of work.” —Steve Yarbrough, author of Prisoners of War and The Realm of Last Chances