Inland, Tea Obreht
In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives unfold. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life—her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons, who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home.
Meanwhile, Lurie is a former outlaw and a man haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires a momentous expedition across the West. The way in which Lurie’s death-defying trek at last intersects with Nora’s plight is the surprise and suspense of this brilliant novel.
Mythical, lyrical, and sweeping in scope, Inland is grounded in true but little-known history. It showcases all of Téa Obreht’s talents as a writer, as she subverts and reimagines the myths of the American West, making them entirely—and unforgettably—her own.
“What Obreht pulls off here is pure poetry. It doesn’t feel written so much as extracted from the mind in its purest, clearest, truest form.”—Entertainment Weekly (Grade: A)
“Inland is a classic story, told in a classic way—and yet it feels wholly and unmistakably new. . . . At once a new Western myth and a far realer story than many we have previously received—and that’s even with all the ghosts.”—NPR
“With Inland, Obreht makes a renewed case for the sustained, international appeal of the American West, based on a set of myths that have been continually shaped and refracted through outside lenses. . . . Discovering the particular genre conventions that Obreht has chosen to transfigure or to uphold soon becomes central to the novel’s propulsive appeal.”—The New Yorker
Paperback release: May 26, 2020