History of Wolves
Linda has an idiosyncratic home life: her parents live in abandoned commune cabins in northern Minnesota and are hanging on to the last vestiges of a faded counter-culture world. The kids at school call her 'Freak', or 'Commie'. She is an outsider in all things. Her understanding of the world comes from her observations at school, where her teacher is accused of possessing child pornography, and from watching the seemingly ordinary life of a family she babysits for. Yet while the accusation against the teacher is perhaps more innocent than it seemed at first, the ordinary family turns out to be more complicated. As Linda insinuates her way into the family's orbit, she realises they are hiding something. If she tells the truth, she will lose the normal family life she is beginning to enjoy with them; and if she doesn't, a life is at stake. Superbly-paced and beautifully written, HISTORY OF WOLVES is an extraordinary debut novel about the lengths a person will go to find the life they desire...
Booker Shortlist 2017
So much is accomplished here, not least a kind of trust that this writer will make everything count, including the kind of data that is usually left for dead in a story -- Ben Marcus, author of Leaving the Sea and The Flame Alphabet So delicately calibrated and precisely beautiful that one might not immediately sense the sledgehammer of pain building inside this book. And I mean that in the best way. What powerful tension and depth -- Aimee Bender, author of The Color Master and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake First thing you see is the bracing intelligence of the book's young narrator - no big-eyed sentiments for Linda, raised amid blighted ideals in the ceaseless winters and vast swamps of northern Minnesota. So observant is Linda that you trust her instantly, but it's her own search for trust, for connection even at enormous cost, that will hold you to the final hour. Emily Fridlund's language is generous and precise, her story grief-tempered and forcefully moving. History of Wolves is the loneliest thing I've read in years, and it's gorgeous. These are haunted pages -- Leif Enger As exquisite a first novel as I've ever encountered. Poetic, complex and utterly, heartbreakingly beautiful -- T. C. Boyle, author of The Harder They Come
Emily Fridlund grew up in Minnesota. She holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Her collection of stories, Catapult, was chosen by Ben Marcus for the Mary McCarthy Prize and will be published by Sarabande Books. She lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York. History of Wolves is her first novel.