Amanda Coplin didn’t live through the experiences of the two sisters in her debut novel, The Orchardist (Harper). After all, Coplin is only 31 years old, and the events take place at the turn of the 20th century. But the setting is autobiographical. Coplin explains, “The novel is set in and around Wenatchee, Washington, where I was born. I spent a lot of time in my grandparents’ apple, cherry, and pear orchards growing up, and this landscape affected my imagination in a major way. The novel is sort of a love letter to that place, and an homage to my grandfather, who was my best friend when I was a child.”

Coplin, who counts Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, and Cormac McCarthy among her influences, continues, “As a child I wondered how those huge, magnificent orchards came into being. Writing the novel was a way to chart how the landscape changed, from its wild and arid pre-European settlement state to the agricultural mecca it is known as today.”

The author, who has toiled as a bookseller and a barista, worked for eight years on the novel, starting it as a graduate student in the M.F.A. program at the University of Minnesota. In a starred and boxed review, PW called the work “immensely affecting” and “eloquent.”

Executive editor Terry Karten, who acquired the manuscript from Bill Clegg at William Morris Endeavor, recalls, “After reading only a few pages of The Orchardist, I was immediately struck by the distinctive narrative voice and the prose style of this unique work. The freshness and originality evident in this novel are its calling card; The Orchardist stands out from the pack.”