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Other titles in the Flyover Fiction series:
The Mover of Bones (Flyover Fiction)by Robert Vivian
Synopses & Reviews
Lem Purchase is in California when a call comes in the dead of night: his younger, disturbed brother in Nebraska announces his plans to carry out an act of terrorism targeting the state capitol building in Lincoln. This isnt the first time Lem has had to make a frantic check on Jackson. Nor is it the first time that author Robert Vivian has taken us to the haunted world of the Great Plains. Critics called Vivians first two books in the Tall Grass Trilogy “lyrical and harrowing” (Sven Birkerts on The Mover of Bones) and “brilliantly written” (Publishers Weekly on Lamb Bright Saviors). In this third and final volume in the trilogy, Vivian weaves the voices of Lem, Jackson, and Lems estranged wife, Lissa, into an American triptych of longing, remembrance, and innocence—of hopes almost fulfilled and inevitably disappointed—as we race to Jacksons reckoning with history that must have its day.
While Jackson hatches yet another plan that rivals the first in madness and ultimately threatens Lems life, Lems reflections reveal what, and how much, that life has meant. In Jacksons determination we encounter another view of what matters, as he clings to his apocalyptic notion of the only way in which the country can be reclaimed from its present madness.
“Robert Vivians prose is lyrical and harrowing—harrowing in the Biblical sense,” Sven Birkerts said of The Mover of Bones, the first book in Vivians Tall Grass Trilogy. That same lyrical power carries this new volume to a place of hard-won hope and redemption at once both spiritual and earthly.
Lamb Bright Saviors begins as an apocalyptically inclined itinerant preacher staggers across the Nebraska prairie. With his young assistant, Mady, in tow hauling a wagon stacked with bibles, its not long before the preacher finds hes come to the final fulfillment of his self-proclaimed lifes work: to die in front of a group of strangers. Odd as his own end-of-days might be, the lives and struggles of the strangers attending this deathbed scene are even odder. As the dying preacher unleashes a barrage of hallucinatory ramblings and rantings in the hope of imparting wisdom, each ragtag member of this unlikely congregation must reckon with his or her own dark past. And, through it all, the irrepressible Mady lends the preachers strange performance a surprising and unforgettable dignity and humor.
In one hand, Jesse Breedlove holds a bottle of Cuervo Gold—or whats left of it—in the other, the shovel with which he has just unearthed the bones of a small girl buried in the cellar of a Catholic church in Omaha, Nebraska. So begins Breedloves odyssey across the literal and mythical landscapes of America, bearing the finely articulated body he has uncovered, bones that would neither rest nor, in their restless eloquence, let him remain silent. Through the heart of the United States, this mover of bones encounters people who live on the geographical and emotional margins and who find that his presence and his plight summon their voices. Rumors surface and reports multiply as the lonely, the addicted, the isolated, the damned, the pure of heart, and the holy sane speak. From the dark and distant edges of society, they bear witness—sometimes directly, sometimes obliquely—to what the mover of bones and his burden mean.
Defiler, redeemer, sinner, or saint—Breedlove is the stuff myths are made of, and The Mover of Bones, the first of the Tall Grass Trilogy of novels by Robert Vivian, evokes a collective dream of the heartland.
About the Author
Robert Vivian is a professor of English and creative writing at Alma College in Michigan and a core faculty member in the low-residency MFA program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is the author of, most recently, The Least Cricket of Evening, and of the Tall Grass Trilogy, which includes Lamb Bright Saviors and Another Burning Kingdom, all available from the University of Nebraska Press.
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