Synopses & Reviews
In this poetic and haunting tale set in contemporary Appalachia, New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash illuminates lives shaped by violence and a powerful connection to the land.
Les, a long-time sheriff just three-weeks from retirement, contends with the ravages of crystal meth and his own duplicity in his small Appalachian town.
Becky, a park ranger with a harrowing past, finds solace amid the lyrical beauty of this patch of North Carolina.
Enduring the mistakes and tragedies that have indelibly marked them, they are drawn together by a reverence for the natural world. When an irascible elderly local is accused of poisoning a trout stream, Les and Becky are plunged into deep and dangerous waters, forced to navigate currents of disillusionment and betrayal that will force them to question themselves and test their tentative bond — and threaten to carry them over the edge.
Echoing the heartbreaking beauty of William Faulkner and the spiritual isolation of Carson McCullers, Above the Waterfall demonstrates once again the prodigious talent of "a gorgeous, brutal writer" (Richard Price) hailed as "one of the great American authors at work today" (Janet Maslin, New York Times).
"It was love at first page of Above the Waterfall, the new novel by this lyrical and evocative writer acclaimed for his novels, short stories, and poetry... You might call Rash our Appalachian Shakespeare." Philadelphia Inquirer
"Rash is an enormously gifted storyteller... one of the few writers at work today with the insight, the talent and the vision to show us how sometimes, for all our sorry shortcomings, we’re able to achieve a certain redemption through our capacity for kindness and decency." Washington Post
"Rash, a 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, is one of our undisputed Appalachian laureates, in company with Robert Morgan, Lee Smith, Fred Chappell, and Mark Powell." The Millions
"Combining suspense with acute observations and flashing insights, Rash tells a seductive and disquieting tale about our intrinsic attachment to and disastrous abuse of the land and our betrayal of our best selves." Booklist (Starred Review)
"[T]here’s no denying Rash’s grasp of the North Carolina landscape and its reflection in the oft-tortured souls of its denizens, making this novel one of his most successful ventures into poetic humanism." — Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestseller Serena and Above the Waterfall, in addition to four prizewinning novels, including The Cove, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; four collections of poems; and six collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.