Harrow – Joy Williams
In her first novel since The Quick and the Dead (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), the legendary writer takes us into an uncertain landscape after an environmental apocalypse, a world in which only the man-made has value, but some still wish to salvage the authentic. ‘When the book was over, I missed the awful, cleansing darkness of its eyes upon me ‘ New Yorker Books of the Year 2021Winner of the 2021 Kirkus Prize for Fiction Longlisted for the PEN/ Jean Stein Book Award Khristen is a teenager who, her mother believes, was marked for greatness as a baby when she died for a moment, then came back to life. After Khristen’s boarding school for gifted teens closes its doors, and her mother disappears, she ranges across the dead landscape and finds a ‘resort’ on the shores of a mysterious, putrid lake the elderly residents there call ‘Big Girl’.
In a rotting honeycomb of rooms, these old ones plot actions to punish corporations and people they consider culpable in the destruction of the final scraps of nature’s beauty. Rivetingly strange and delivered with Williams’ searing, deadpan wit, Harrow is a tale of paradise lost and the reasons to try and recover something of it.