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The Leopard Is Loose

Best Seller
The Leopard Is Loose by Stephen Harrigan
Hardcover $26.00
Jan 18, 2022 | ISBN 9780525655770

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  • Jan 18, 2022 | ISBN 9780525655770

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“Harrigan’s tale rings true . . . [The Leopard Is Loose] engagingly draws upon family lore, those dinner-table anecdotes beginning, ‘Do you remember…?’ . . . Harrigan deftly catches the flavorful sense of a place and time as witnessed by a child” —Joyce Sáenz Harris, The Dallas Morning News

“Taut and muscular. Not a word is wasted. . . [An] invaluable historical novel.” —Michael Barnes, Austin American-Statesman
“Absorbing . . . Depicts the terror sparked by the leopard’s escape, including scenes in which cars filled with gun-toting would-be game hunters raced down the city’s streets . . . The book also touches on some of the big issues of the time, including the psychological damage sustained by those who fought in World War II.” —Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News

“Really beautiful . . . about the fears seen and those unseen, like injustice and the emotions of coming back from war.” —Jenna Bush Hager, on Instagram

“Inspired by an actual incident, this mostly sweet-tempered tale [about] a wild cat on the loose in 1950’s Oklahoma City crystallizes a boy’s coming-or-age [in] a transitional time for his family. His father, a test pilot, has died; his mother is getting serious with a new man; and his two uncles are World War II veterans whose PTSD manifests itself in confusing ways . . . In  scenes that put anti-Black discrimination on display, he exposes the persistence of casual racism and how easily it descends into violence . . . Harrigan has a knack for grand-scale historical writing . . . and he engagingly inhabits his young hero’s mind [in] a likable, nostalgic yarn that explores how minor incidents can catalyze into bigger crises.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Deeply felt . . . plenty of heart. . . . Harrigan makes a welcome return to fiction with a story inspired by a leopard that escaped from the Oklahoma City Zoo in 1952. . . . Five-year-old Grady is an appealing narrator . . . and Harrigan elegantly conveys the strength of family bonds.” Publishers Weekly

“Captivating . . . Things come to a head when the uncles, with [nephews] Grady and Danny in the back seat, set off in Frank’s car to find the leopard. They will find more, much more, than they anticipate.” —Michael Cart, Booklist

“Harrigan vividly recreates 1950s Oklahoma City with a fine eye for historical detail using a spare writing style reminiscent of Kent Haruf . . . Harrigan’s novelistic time machine with its complicated and compelling characters will engage a wide array of readers.” Library Journal

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