Join us on Thursday, August 26th, at 6PM for a virtual conversation with Gordy Sauer! His new book, Child in the Valley, is a much-anticipated new release from Hub City Press, and we are looking forward to a great discussion with the author via CrowdCast!
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The News of the World meets Deadwood in this coming-of-age story set in the harsh landscape of Gold Rush America, centering on an orphan’s journey to California in a wagon train of ruthless 49ers.
"Child in the Valley is vividly brutal and haunting, well beyond its subject matter. Gordy Sauer has a bright future ahead of him." —Larry McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove
Seventeen-year-old Joshua Gaines is the orphaned foster son of a failed doctor, on the run from his father’s debt. In 1849, he travels to Independence, Missouri and falls in with the mysterious, four-fingered Renard, and his companion, formerly-enslaved Free Ray. Joshua offers his medical expertise to their party, and together they embark on the fifteen-hundred mile overland journey to Gold Rush California.
Following the hardship, disease, and death on the trail, the company abandons panning the river in favor of robbery and murder. Engulfed by violence, the young doctor-turned-marauder must reckon with his own morality, his growing desire for the men around him, and the brutality that has haunted him all his life.
"Set during the era of the California gold rush, Child of the Valley is the brutal telling of one man’s journey as he travels west in the hope of changing his life’s circumstance. Richly detailed and beautifully written, Sauer’s novel is an examination of the lengths people are willing to go for the promise of the American dream." —LaTanya McQueen, author of When the Reckoning Comes
For fans of The Revenant and Ian McGuire’s The North Water, Child in the Valley is a gorgeously rendered tale cut from the turmoil of a fledgling America. Gordy Sauer’s careful eye and penetrating literary lens offers a modern, incisive look into the complexities of masculinity, isolation, and the impenetrable nature of greed.
Gordy Sauer is a native Texan and transplant Missourian. He holds an MFA from Columbia University and an MA from Clemson University. His writing has appeared in Narrative Magazine and Boulevard, among other places, and he received a 2013 artist's grant for residency at the Vermont Studio Center. A lifelong educator, he has taught snowboarding, fly fishing, middle school math and science, and now works as a speechwriter at Mizzou. This is his first novel.