The Bad Lands: A Novel

University of Chicago Press
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It’s 1883 in Johnson County, in the old Dakota Territory—a rugged, wide-open landscape of rolling, red earth, prairie, and cattle as far as the eye can see. But the land is closing, the “Beef Bonanza” is ending, and the free-range cattlemen are stuck watching a way of life disappear in a blaze of drought and gunfire.

An action-packed western from one of the masters of the genre, Oakley Hall’s The Bad Lands blends roundups and rustlers, whorehouses and land grabs, shoot-outs and the threat of hangings in a tale of the war between the cowboys and the cattle barons. But more than this, it is an elegy to the wild beauty of the badlands before the ranchers moved in, chased off the free-rangers, the trappers, and the tribes, and fenced it all in.
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About the author

Oakley Hall (1920–2008) was a great novelist of the American West and beloved writing teacher of Michael Chabon and Richard Ford, among many others. He is the author of numerous books, including Warlock, The Coming of the Kid, Apaches, and Separations.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Oct 10, 2016
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9780226412757
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Sweeping Novel of a Twentieth-Century California Life

Love and War in California tells the story, through the eyes of Payton Daltrey, of the last sixty years of an evolving America.
The award-winning author Oakley Hall begins his newest work in 1940s San Diego, where his endearing, wide-eyed narrator must define his identity in terms of self, family, and World War II. As his classmates disappear into the war one by one, he becomes obsessed with abuses of power and embroiled with the charming, dangerous Errol Flynn; with the Red Baiting of the American Legion; with the House Un-American Activities Committee; and with the Japanese interment at Manzanar. Nevertheless, Payton, too, must go to the war, where he is a part of the invasion of Europe and that proving of the American soldier: the Battle of the Bulge. After war's end and time in New York, he returns to California as a writer and a seeker, whose old, long-lost love rises from the ashes to show him who he really is.
Hall has been called a "master craftsman" (Amy Tan) with "one of the finest prose styles around" (Michael Chabon), and he has received the PEN Center USA West Award of Honor and the P&W Writers for Writers Award. Coming on the heels of Hall's San Francisco Chronicle bestseller (a reissue of his classic Western, Warlock), Love and War in California is more than a novel about a young boy who grows old. It's about how the passions of youth become the verities of age, and how we evolve as a nation, a country, and a people during times that are all at once turbulent, dangerous, and stirring.

THE BLOCKBUSTER HIT—A New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller

For readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale comes a “thought-provoking [and] complex tale about two families, two generations apart . . . based on a notorious true-life scandal.”*

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

*Library Journal

If All Arkansas Read the Same Book Selection • Finalist for the Southern Book Prize • Publishers Weekly’s #3 Longest-Running Bestseller of 2017

“A [story] of a family lost and found . . . a poignant, engrossing tale about sibling love and the toll of secrets.” —People

“Sure to be one of the most compelling books you pick up this year. . . . Wingate is a master-storyteller, and you’ll find yourself pulled along as she reveals the wake of terror and heartache that is Georgia Tann’s legacy.” —Parade

“One of the year’s best books . . . It is impossible not to get swept up in this near-perfect novel.” —The Huffington Post
The Sweeping Novel of a Twentieth-Century California Life

Love and War in California tells the story, through the eyes of Payton Daltrey, of the last sixty years of an evolving America.
The award-winning author Oakley Hall begins his newest work in 1940s San Diego, where his endearing, wide-eyed narrator must define his identity in terms of self, family, and World War II. As his classmates disappear into the war one by one, he becomes obsessed with abuses of power and embroiled with the charming, dangerous Errol Flynn; with the Red Baiting of the American Legion; with the House Un-American Activities Committee; and with the Japanese interment at Manzanar. Nevertheless, Payton, too, must go to the war, where he is a part of the invasion of Europe and that proving of the American soldier: the Battle of the Bulge. After war's end and time in New York, he returns to California as a writer and a seeker, whose old, long-lost love rises from the ashes to show him who he really is.
Hall has been called a "master craftsman" (Amy Tan) with "one of the finest prose styles around" (Michael Chabon), and he has received the PEN Center USA West Award of Honor and the P&W Writers for Writers Award. Coming on the heels of Hall's San Francisco Chronicle bestseller (a reissue of his classic Western, Warlock), Love and War in California is more than a novel about a young boy who grows old. It's about how the passions of youth become the verities of age, and how we evolve as a nation, a country, and a people during times that are all at once turbulent, dangerous, and stirring.

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