A boy coming of age in a part of the country that’s being left behind is at the heart of this dazzling novel–the first by an award-winning author of short stories that evoke the American West.
*Longlisted for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize*
Callan Wink has been compared to masters like Jim Harrison and Thomas McGuane. His short stories have been published in The New Yorker and have won numerous accolades. Now, his enormous talents are showcased in a debut novel that follows a boy in the middle of the country through those difficult years between childhood and adulthood.
"Wink brilliantly captures the stultifying effects of small-town life and the tension between free-spirited August and those stuck in the Montana “suckhole,” concluding with a stunning, indelible image from August’s rearview mirror. Like a current Jim Harrison, Wink makes irresistible drama out of an individual’s search for identity in landscapes that are by turns romantic and limiting." Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
“The unsentimental education of a farm boy from Michigan, August wastes no words. It reads like early Hemingway, retooled for the present. Work, pain, weather, violence, the bitten-off curse of American masculinity—you’ll find yourself praying for the redemption of its laconic, damaged, wonderful, still very young hero.”—William Finnegan, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Barbarian Days
“August is an exceptional coming-of-age story. Callan Wink is too wise and empathetic a writer to ever allow his readers easy judgments as we follow his memorable young protagonist on his precarious way through adolescence. An outstanding debut novel and worthy follow-up to Wink’s widely praised collection of stories.”—Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of The Risen and Serena
“Callan Wink’s characters are as real and vivid as if they’d stepped into your living room, uninvited, to tell their stories. His style is as clear, precise, and starkly poetic as the young Hemingway’s, but with a more droll sense of humor. This book is simply super—a deft, beautiful, deeply engaging read.”—Brad Watson, author of Miss Jane
"August is the rural coming of age that so many of us experience but so rarely see in print. Callan Wink has a voice like Annie Proulx's; he lands every detail with concrete authenticity and every emotional moment with tangible feeling.” Rae DelBianco, author of 2019 Prix Littéraire Lucien-Barrière-winner Rough Animals
“August is alive. I haven’t connected with a character so intensely—and sometimes uncomfortably—since I first read Jim Harrison’s early novels almost 30 years ago. Wink’s prose has Harrison’s into-the-vein immediacy and Tom McGuane’s perfect pitch, and there’s a hard-to-pin-down hint of Cormac McCarthy in there too (so that makes three of my heroes). But the voice and ethos are new to me, and absolutely Wink’s.”—James A. McLaughlin, Edgar Award-winning author of Bearskin
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