Congratulations to Carmel Vivier, winner of last week's Friday Freebie, Aurorarama by Jean-Christophe Valtat.
This week's book giveaway is a signed copy of Ghosts of Wyoming by Alyson Hagy, easily one of my favorite short story collections of the year.
Keeneland and Snow, Ashes and the short-story collections Graveyard of the Atlantic, Madonna on Her Back, and Hardware River. Like the others, Ghosts of Wyoming deserves a wider, deeper audience. It's a pitch-perfect collection of stories that, true to its title, haunts the reader long after the last page is turned. It's in the "voices" of these tales that Hagy succeeds best. Trainmen, oil and gas roughnecks, a man of God traveling through Indian country, and environmental activists are all part of the book's choir.
Perhaps my favorite story of the book is the first one, "Border," which is one of the best boy-and-his-dog stories I've ever read. It's sensitive, it's intelligent, and it's heartbreaking. I recently heard Hagy read part of it at the Montana Festival of the Book and I was no less moved sitting there in the lower level of the Holiday Inn than I was when I read "Border" seven months earlier sitting in my living room. This past May, as part of Short Story Month, Emerging Writers Network hosted an in-depth discussion of "Border" and the comments there are well worth checking out (warning: there are spoilers). Click here for Part One of that discussion.
By coincidence, Hagy is the featured guest on today's The Write Question program on Montana Public Radio. You can listen to the interview by clicking here. As a bonus, you'll get to hear Hagy reading the first section of "Border."
If you'd like a chance at winning a signed copy of Ghosts of Wyoming, all you have to do is answer this question and you'll be entered in the giveaway:
Which of Alyson Hagy's two novels is set on a Wyoming sheep ranch?
Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. One entry per person, please. In order to give everyone a fair shake in the contest, please e-mail the answer, rather than posting it in the comments section. The contest closes at midnight on Dec. 16, at which time I'll draw the winning name. I'll announce the lucky reader on Dec. 17.