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books by jonis agee

 
 

 

 

The River Wife

 

"Agee's long-awaited fifth novel is more than simply a work of fiction; rather, it's an all-consuming experience. This mesmerizing saga teeming with memorable characters, sharp depictions of frontier life, and lucid, beautifully wrought prose will haunt readers long afterward." — Booklist

 

"Agee delivers an enthralling family saga. . . . Lush historical detail, a plot brimming with danger, love and betrayal, and a magnificent cast." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 

"What a grand and gorgeous novel this is: passionate, stirring, filled with action, intrigue, romance, and surprise. Jonis Agee's The River Wife is glorious." — Ron Hansen, author of Mariette in Ecstasy

The River Wife

by Jonis Agee
Available July 17, 2007
Random House

 

Sweet Eyes

"Ms Agee is a gifted poet of that dark lushness in the heart of the American landscape." — New York Times Book Review (Notable Book of the Year)

"There's enough sprawling vivacity here to let Agee do for Divinity, Iowa, what Larry McMurtry does for Texasville: create a comfortable, lived-in world." — Kirkus Reviews

"A big, complicated book about small-town life, in the great American tradition of Faulkner, Willa Cather, and Sherwood Anderson." — Philadelphia Inquirer 

Sweet Eyes
Copyright © 2003
by Jonis Agee
University of Nebraska Press
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Acts of Love on Indigo Road

"Terse, edgy and explosive. . . . Agee's flair for stunning conceits and turn-on-a-dime plotting dominates throughout, and her feel for the gritty underbelly of blue-collar American life belies an equally impressive talent for poetic, elegiac writing." — Publishers Weekly

"Agee's stories are trenchantly witty and eloquent evocations of the close-to-the-bone lives of housebound women and speed-craving men: farmers and picklers and orchardists, men who live in storage units and trackside trailers, the two wives of a bigamist who meet to compare notes. Acts of Love on Indigo Road is a very fine compendium of two decades of work." — Washington Post

"Acts of Love on Indigo Road is a marvelous compilation spanning a quarter-century of Agee's fiction-making." — North Dakota Quarterly

Acts of Love on Indigo Road

Copyright © 2003

by Jonis Agee

Coffee House Press

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The Weight of Dreams

"Jonis Agee's acclaimed fiction has established her as a visceral, lyrical interpreter of the interplay between family legends and reality, the land and its inhabitants, the forces of nature and those of the human heart. Her landscapes are primitive, her characters intense and magnetic, her themes mythic even as she celebrates the gritty, scarred layers of the daily world with specificity and wisdom." — Chicago Tribune

"Against the stunning backdrop of a vanishing West, The Weight of Dreams intertwines the passion and sweep of Larry McMurtry with a narrative of love and family as compelling as those of Rosellen Brown or Jane Hamilton. . . . A novel of greed, power, and violence — from a 'gifted poet of that dark lushness in the heart of the American landscape.'" — The New York Times Book Review

"Deeply affecting. Agee's tale about loss and regeneration gathers majestic force with each page." — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"One of the best books of the year." — St Louis Post-Dispatch

"A beautiful novel of the American plains and the secrets of the last frontier. . . . Haunts the reader long after the last page is turned." — Baltimore Sun

The Weight of Dreams

Copyright © 2000

by Jonis Agee

Penguin

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Cover Image

Taking the Wall

 

"This is a stellar collection about blue-color folk, their plucky and despairing relationships and their dreams of speed and glamour. ... If this book were a movie, it would be a noisy midwestern starring Steve McQueen, Jack Nicholson, and Sissy Spacek, with Martha Plimpton as the feisty young grease monkey working at the Glory to God garage, across from the Curl Up & Dye Hair Salon." — Publishers Weekly

"Jonis Agee knows a lot about people, and as much (or more) about forgiveness. . . . Agee makes us believe in old-fashioned things: that love heals, blood is thicker than water, and that you can’t put a price on loyalty." — The St Paul Pioneer Press

"Agee's characters are everyday people, achieving the sublime through prose as plain as it is evocative — the toughest kind to produce, as any honest scribe will tell you. ... These tales, however, are less about burning rubber and revving engines than the revolutions of the human heart." — Minneapolis Star Tribune

Taking the Wall

Copyright © 1999

by Jonis Agee

Coffee House Press

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Cover Image Strange Angels

"With Strange Angels, Agee spins a captivating web of the rugged West, stormy romance and struggling siblings." — Orlando Sentinel

"Jonis Agee's new novel, brawling and turbulent with the passions of contemporary cowboys and cowgirls, will add luster to an already shining literary reputation. . . . Agee has written a book that is a celebration of our mortal progress from self-love to a love of all that is other." — Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Inspired . . . a rollicking love song to a dying breed." — Kansas City Star

"In creating a world seldom encountered in contemporary fiction, Agee has virtually reinvented the Western novel." — Los Angeles Times Book Review

"She knows the real beauty of these lives." — New York Times Book Review (Notable Book of the Year)

"Agee has achieved a rare balance here between grit — horse thievery, knock down fistfights, rodeos, and blizzards — and breathtaking lyricism, sensuality and catharsis." — Booklist (starred review)

Strange Angels

Copyright © 2000

by Jonis Agee

Penguin

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South of Resurrection

"You can go home again, the heroine of Agee's earthy, deeply satisfying latest discovers — you just can't expect home to be easy, or life there particularly simple. Agee (Strange Angels, 1993, etc.) has always demonstrated a distinctive skill for creating complex, tough-minded, open-hearted women. ... Agee gently peels away the many layers of history that accumulate when a family has lived in one place for a very long time. There's a pleasing and believable succession of secrets revealed. And Moline and Dayrell's wary courtship is among the most brambly, and original, in recent fiction. One of the best novels by anyone writing today about the old, long-settled corner of the South." — Kirkus Reviews

"It's an achy-breaky narrative, heavy on the pedal steel guitar, about a woman who returns to her hometown after 23 years and, among other things, falls in love with a beery old redneck named Dayrell. . . . Agee's sentences have an easy swing to them, and she has an eye for funky detail." — New York Times Book Review

South of Resurrection

by Jonis Agee

Copyright © 1998

Penguin

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Cover Image A .38 Special and a Broken Heart

"This new volume in the Coffee-to-Go Short-Short Story series explores the tangled intersections of love and death. Most of the 29 selections are 'momentary stories' that 'fling themselves at you and you don't have any choice but catch them.' . . . Most of her tales are from the perspective of the wronged woman, but in 'Listen' she anticipates and rebuts the objections of a pompous male critic. 'I told him that you have to be careful when you break horses that you don't break their spirit too.' This spirit resounds in the splendid economy of Agee's deft characterization and sharp, visceral imagery." — Publishers Weekly

"A .38 Special and a Broken Heart is short-short story writing at its best. It deserves to be read, read again and passed to every story-loving friend on down the road." — Albuquerque Journal

"Agee's fans — and readers who appreciate the immediacy of good short-shorts — will find much to relish here." — Booklist

A .38 Special and a Broken Heart

Copyright © 1995

by Jonis Agee

Coffee House Press

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Bend This Heart

 

"These very short stories have, at best, the compressed energy and the intensity of good poetry." — Alice Adams

 

"Abrupt, restless, and memorable, Jonis Agee's stories have a straightforward honesty about love, sex, and obsession, and the structures we evoke to contain them. They have the texture of a sleepless night in which we are hooked to the bone by everything we have desired. In story after story, the mask drops away from gentility, and we come face to face with the truth. These stories are beautiful because of their courage: there is nothing they are afraid to say." — Charles Baxter

 

"These are 23 love stories, though the phrase needs qualification. They are the clear-eyed reports of someone who sees things as they are, not as she would wish them to be. . . . Keenly alive with language, [making] both the heart and the mind work." — Amy Hempel, New York Times Book Review (Notable Book of the Year)

 

Bend This Heart

Copyright © 1989

by Jonis Agee

Coffee House Press

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Pretend We've Never Met

"In Pretend We've Never Met, her 1989 collection of short narrative sketches, Jonis Agee drew with a strong, spare lyricism a portrait of a rural Midwestern landscape she called Divinity, Iowa. — New York Times Book Review

"Her stories take risks and a rewarding number succeed." — Perry Glasser, North American Review

Pretend We've Never Met

Copyright © 1989

by Jonis Agee

Gibbs Smith Publisher

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