cover image Graphic the Valley

Graphic the Valley

Peter Brown Hoffmeister. Tyrus (F+W Media, dist.), $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4405-6203-7

A couple illegally inhabits the Yosemite valley in camps and debri shelters, bearing and raising a child who grows to be a new type of Native American in Hoffmeister’s debut novel. At the age of 19, Tenaya has never left Yosemite. He was born in a car and brought straight to the valley, educated with stories from books and his father’s mythical-sounding memory. He learns how to survive in the wilderness with nothing but himself. But when he takes a job clearing slash off the Tioga Road and meets Lucy, a secret relationship blossoms which leads to pregnancy and a controversial public engagement. The couple’s dreams turn sour as both families manipulate the young bride and groom during marriage ceremonies to embarrass the other side, escalating towards violence and ending in tragedy. Tenaya is left with the responsibility of protecting his beloved valley, where construction and contracts are moving in to create a theme park and destroy his home. With refreshingly fundamental first person narration and unusual character development, stripped in knowledge and language of anything but the necessary, each page of this novel illuminates its reader’s imagination with both tenacity and innocence. (July)