Winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction
Synopses & Reviews
The linked novellas that comprise Josh Weil’s masterful debut bring us into America’s remote, unforgiving backcountry, and delicately unveil the private worlds of three very different men as they confront love, loss, and their own personal demons.
Set in the hardscrabble hill country between West Virginia and Virginia, The New Valley is populated by characters striving to forge new lives in the absence of those they have loved. Told in three varied and distinct voices — from a soft-spoken beef farmer struggling to hold himself together after his dad’s suicide; to a health-obsessed single father desperate to control his reckless, overweight daughter; to a mildly retarded man who falls for a married woman intent on using him in a scheme that wounds them both — each novella is a vivid examination of Weil’s uniquely romanticized relationships. As the men struggle against grief, solitude, and fixation, their desperation leads them all to commit acts that bring both ruin and salvation.
Reminiscent of Bobbie Ann Mason, Annie Proulx, and Kent Haruf in its deeply American tone, The New Valley is a tender exploration of resilience, isolation, and the consuming ache for human connection. Weil’s empathetic, meticulous prose makes this is a debut of inescapable power.
"Intense and satisfying; highly recommended..." Library Journal
"Weil limns a rugged emotional landscape every bit as raw and desolate as the land that inspired it, delivering an eloquent portrait of people who defiantly cling to a fierce independence." Booklist
"There is a magic and gentle beauty in this book that makes me remember why I had always wanted to be a writer." Tim O'Brien
The linked novellas that comprise Weil's masterful debut bring readers into America's remote, unforgiving backcountry, and delicately unveil the private worlds of three very different men as they confront love, loss, and their own personal demons.
About the Author
Josh Weil was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of rural Virginia, and currently divides his time between New York City and a cabin in southwestern Virginia, where he is at work on a novel. His short fiction has been published or is forthcoming in Granta, New England Review, American Short Fiction, Narrative and other journals.