cover image Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here

Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here

Angela Palm. Graywolf, $16 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-55597-746-7

Combining lyrical prose with a haunting narrative, Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize–winner Palm recounts a story filled with secret longings, family history, and musings on what might have been. Raised in rural Indiana alongside the flood-prone Kankakee River, Palm dreamed of escaping to a wider world populated with more opportunities. Palm eventually does depart for college and later makes a home in Vermont. But the pull back to the Midwest is strong, and nagging questions persist. As a youngster, the author was secretly in love with her next-door neighbor. But their routes diverged with Palm making a new life for herself, first in Indianapolis and later in Vermont, while her neighbor ends up serving a life sentence for murder. Palm probes deeply into the family and small-town stories, which instilled such a deep sense of place in the author. She becomes fascinated with theories of criminal justice—taking college classes on the subject, reading local police blotters, and watching crime shows on television to better understand the how and why of what happened to her friend. All in all, this is a memoir to linger over, savor and study. Agent: Lana Popovic, Chalberg & Sussman. (Aug.)