PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist and winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award.
Set in the brutal Oregon high country in the 1890s, The Jump-Off Creek tells the story of the widow Lydia Sanderson and her struggles to settle in an unforgiving land. Gloss did her research, drawing on pioneer journals and hand-me-down stories, and she writes with a quiet restraint that respects the characters and their vast surroundings. Anyone interested in what life was actually like for Oregon's pioneers will love this book. It's the real deal. Recommended By Renee P., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A reading group favorite, The Jump-Off Creek is the unforgettable story of widowed homesteader Lydia Sanderson and her struggles to settle in the mountains of Oregon in the 1890s. Every gritty line of the story rings true” (Seattle Times) as Molly Gloss delivers an authentic and moving portrait of the American West. A powerful novel of struggle and loss” (Dallas Morning News), The Jump-Off Creek gives readers an intimate look at the hardships of frontier life and a courageous woman determined to survive.
"Every gritty line of the story rings true." Seattle Times
"As authentic as sand in one's shoes." Edward Hoagland
"Sometimes it seems that literature is an excellent medium for measuring intimacy; sometimes the white space and the black letters seem to gleefully record thedistances between us. The Jump-Off Creek, written by Molly Gloss in 1989 andreissued by Mariner, is about a woman, Lydia Sanderson, who homesteads alone in Washington state. The book is a prism of loneliness in the form of a novel." Susan Salter Reynolds
"A powerful novel of struggle and loss." Dallas Morning News
William Kittredge called The Jump-Off Creek "a truly beautiful piece of American storytelling." The struggles of a widowed homesteader braving the austere and unsparing Blue Mountains contain "enough valor to make an ordinary life seem heroic" (Los Angeles Times). Told with Molly Gloss's unsentimental reserve, this novel is an inspiring reminder of a rich and uniquely American past.
About the Author
Molly Gloss is the author of The Dazzle of the Day, a New York Times Notable Book, and The Jump-Off Creek, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. She teaches writing and literature of the American West at Portland State University and lives in Portland, Oregon. Wild Life, her third novel, is the winner of the James Tiptree Award for literary fantasy.