The author of one of the most anticipated debut novels of the season discusses his work.
Smith Henderson reads Fourth of July Creek in conversation with Brian McGreevySkylight Books (1818 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027) Map it Free
Smith Henderson, author of one of the most anticipated debut novels of the season, discusses his work with novelist Brian McGreevy (Hemlock Grove).
In this shattering and iconic American novel, PEN prize-winning writer, Smith Henderson explores the complexities of freedom, community, grace, suspicion and anarchy, brilliantly depicting our nation's disquieting and violent contradictions.
After trying to help Benjamin Pearl, an undernourished, nearly feral eleven-year-old boy living in the Montana wilderness, social worker Pete Snow comes face to face with the boy's profoundly disturbed father, Jeremiah. With courage and caution, Pete slowly earns a measure of trust from this paranoid survivalist itching for a final conflict that will signal the coming End Times.
But as Pete's own family spins out of control, Pearl's activities spark the full-blown interest of the F.B.I., putting Pete at the center of a massive manhunt from which no one will emerge unscathed.
Praise for Fourth of July Creek:
“This book left me awestruck; a stunning debut which reads like the work of a writer at the height of his power…Fourth of July Creek is a masterful achievement and Smith Henderson is certain to end up a household name.”—Philipp Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of The Son
“Fourth of July Creek knocked me flat. This gorgeous, full-bodied novel seems to contain all of America at what was, in retrospect, a pivotal moment in its history...Smith Henderson has delivered nothing less than a masterpiece of a novel."
—Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
“Fourth of July Creek cannot possibly be Smith Henderson’s first book. Its scope is audacious, its range virtuosic, its gaze steady and true. A riveting story written in a seductive and relentlessly authentic rural American vernacular, this is the kind of novel I wish I’d written.”—Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn
“Fourth of July Creek is an astonishing read. The writing is energetic and precise. Henderson has a mastery of scale that allows this particular place and these particular people to illuminate who we are as Americans...I could not recommend this book more highly.”—Kevin Powers, bestselling author of The Yellow Birds
“Tremendously satisfying—think Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone...or Jimmy McNulty...set...in...another kind of violent American wilderness...[a] mesmerizing accomplishment. I cannot think of a finer first novel; it’s hard, in fact, to think of a finer second, third, or fourth one, either.”
Smith Henderson was born and raised in western Montana. His family were in the timber industry, ranching, and other trades, but he was the first to go to college, earning a Classics degree. He worked with traumatized children for a few years, and briefly as prison guard. He took writing jobs where he could find them, until he was admitted to the MFA program at the University of Texas. His short fiction has appeared in a variety of journals and been anthologized in the Pushcart Prize Anthology. In 2011 he was the Philip Roth Resident and Bucknell University and won the Emerging Writer Award in Fiction from the PEN Foundation.
Brian McGreevy is the author of Hemlock Grove, which was adapted into a Netflix series of the same name. He is also a founding partner of the production company El Jefe, with multiple film and television projects in development. A former James Michener Fellow in fiction at the University of Texas, he currently lives in Los Angeles.