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Whisper Hollow

Best Seller
Whisper Hollow by Chris Cander
Paperback $17.95
Mar 17, 2015 | ISBN 9781590517116

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  • Mar 17, 2015 | ISBN 9781590517116

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  • Mar 17, 2015 | ISBN 9781590517123

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Praise

“[A] sweeping novel…Cander divinely delves into multiple points of view, crafting a collage of vibrant, layered characters while charting six decades of poignant, precise moments. A distinctive novel that sublimely measures the distressed though determined heartbeat of a small mountain community.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[Chris Cander] admirably captures the lack of choice that men and women have in rural West Virginia.” —Publishers Weekly

“Cander superbly envisions [Verra], the town, its residents’ dynamics, and the early twentieth-century immigrant experience. Alta and Lidia [are] well-developed, believable characters whose mental fortitude and capacity to love linger in the reader’s mind long after the last page.” —Booklist

Whisper Hollow is wonderful. It’s carefully written, unpredictable, sexy when it should be and scary when it has to be…[C]hannels Faulkner…[R]eminiscent of D.H. Lawrence.” —The Houston Chronicle

“[Chris] Cander weaves together the stories of varied characters across nearly five decades with skill and grace…[A] memorable novel about the bonds of town and family, the strength of friendships in unlikely places and the power of secrets to shape a life—or many lives—often without anyone even recognizing it.” —Shelf Awareness (starred review)

“So masterfully controlled is the pace and tone of  Whisper Hollow that you can swing a pickax without hitting any impurities. Rhythmic and beautiful, Whisper Hollow collides Old Testament with sooty coal town Americana in steady harmony.” —Austin American-Statesman

“[Whisper Hollow] is an exploration of well-realized characters, their motivations and their responses to circumstances, written with a literary bent.” —The Asheville Citizen-Times

Whisper Hollow is a haunting novel about the malleability of memory, about secrets and trickery, and about saints who are sinners and sinners who are saints. Cander paints a colorful portrait of a multi-ethnic, multi-generational West Virginia coal camp: a heaven of opportunity to some, a hell of stunted choices to others.” —Marie Manilla, author of The Patron Saint of Ugly  

“Like D. H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, Chris Cander’s beautiful novel, Whisper Hollow, is about love that finds its object, and love that misses its mark and becomes destructive, in a community of coal miners. The story’s locale is one where love (for God,or others) is blocked or displaced until that moment when it can finally express itself, in a setting where work itself may be deadly and time may always run out. Chris Cander’s understanding of men and women is profound, and the scenes in this wonderful book will stay with you like a visionary experience.” —Charles Baxter, author of Gryphon: New and Selected Stories

“The men in Chris Cander’s Whisper Hollow toil underground, in the dark and dangerous coal mines of West Virginia. But her women mine territory twice as dark and twice as dangerous, they mine the human heart. Love and loss, devotion and longing, hope and despair, Cander renders all of this and more through the lives of three women spanning more than fifty years. Here is a novel so full of life—of its beauty and cruelty—that I emerged from it like one of those men walking from mines she so wonderfully evokes, like a man walking from the darkness into the light.” —Peter Geye, author of The Lighthouse Road

“Cander writes with tremendous power and originality. Whisper Hollow grabs the reader with an immediacy that does not let go: this novel is inspired, haunting and heartbreakingly beautiful.” —David Eagleman, author of Incognito and SUM: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

“Sometimes fiction is so good, so authentic, and the storyteller so convincing, that it just feels true. Whisper Hollow is one of those books. I’m blown away, honestly. Chris Cander has created characters with immortal souls.” —Jamie Ford, New York Times best-selling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

“With memorable characters and a haunting setting, Chris Cander weaves a compelling tale of the transformative power of love in the face of buried truths that threaten literally to explode.” —Ann-Marie MacDonald, author of Adult Onset  

Praise for 11 Stories:

“Her conclusion provides grounds for belief in the possibility of redemption; her sensitivity ensures that this novel will appeal to anyone with a story to tell, a group that includes us all.” —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) 

“A wonderfully clever compilation.” —Kirkus

Author Essay

Good story telling is becoming rare these days. It is as if writers have forgotten that reading is before all a regressive act. In other words, when you don’t read primarily to learn something new, you should be able to surrender to a galloping narrative and just want to turn the page. For me , this experience  immediately reminds me of my teens, when I used to retire with a glass of milk and a huge tablet of Belgian chocolate and entered in a space where I only existed through identification with some of the characters of the novel. I love when that still happens to me, and it did wit Whisper Hollow. Don’t get me wrong, though. It takes some work after all these years to get me to regress! There is also in this book a philosophical reflection on what it means to be a spirited human being. My grown up side really relished that part.

—Judith Gurewich, Publisher

 

Good story telling is becoming rare these days. It is as if writers have forgotten that reading is before all a regressive act. In other words, when you don’t read primarily to learn something new, you should be able to surrender to a galloping narrative and just want to turn the page. For me , this experience  immediately reminds me of my teens, when I used to retire with a glass of milk and a huge tablet of Belgian chocolate and entered in a space where I only existed through identification with some of the characters of the novel. I love when that still happens to me, and it did with Whisper Hollow. Don’t get me wrong, though. It takes some work after all these years to get me to regress! There is also in this book a philosophical reflection on what it means to be a spirited human being. My grown up side really relished that part.

—Judith Gurewich, Publisher

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