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 — the elaborate responsibilities of homesteading, the solitude interrupted by pointed human encounters, the very real dangers of a hostile landscape — will find much to grab hold of and admire in this masterful debut. Recommended By Renee P., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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...is a prism of loneliness in the form of a novel." Susan Salter Reynolds
"A powerful novel of struggle and loss." Dallas Morning News
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.