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Crossing the River: A Novel

by Fenton Johnson

Availablepaperback$21.95 978-0-8131-6647-6
Kentucky Voices
230 pages  Pubdate: 02/09/2016  5.5 x 8.5  

Make no mistake: Martha Bragg Picket is a headstrong southern woman with a rebellious spirit, a characteristic her son Michael shares. Yet to see her after almost twenty years of marriage, it might no longer seem clear. A Yankee contractor’s arrival in town catalyzes her dissatisfaction, leading her to turn her life upside down—unaware that her son will follow suit. Both heartfelt and shrewdly humorous, this widely acclaimed first novel from author Fenton Johnson is an affecting look at one woman’s reawakening and her son’s coming of age in the heartland of America.

Fenton Johnson is the author of award-winning fiction and literary nonfiction, including the novels Scissors, Paper, Rock and The Man Who Loved Birds, as well as Keeping Faith: A Skeptic’s Journey among Christian and Buddhist Monks and Geography of the Heart: A Memoir. He is associate professor of creative writing at the University of Arizona and teaches in the MFA program at Spalding University in Louisville.

As rich and Southern as fried chicken gravy . . . full of sharply observed talk and manners. -- Chicago Tribune

A gallant and engaging heroine who, from the ashes of total defeat, rises again to win our hearts. -- San Francisco Examiner

Johnson is a storyteller of distinction. He knows the regional, religious, and emotional insularity of his Kentucky characters and reveals them with sly humor. -- Publishers Weekly

Delightful to behold. . . . One of the pleasures of this story is the way almost nothing goes where it seems to be headed. . . . Most of all there is Martha, full-blown and irresistible, earthy and wise, meeting life more than halfway. -- San Francisco Chronicle