Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Freebie: American Copper by Shann Ray

Congratulations to Carl Scott, Kirsten Murchison, Thao Votang, Jerri Bell, and Melissa Seng, winners of last week’s Friday Freebie: The Heart You Carry Home by Jennifer Miller.

This week, I’m giving away three copies of the debut novel by Shann Ray, American Copper. Long-time readers of The Quivering Pen know that I am a huge (YUUUGE! in the words of Donald Trump) fan of Ray’s work. You might almost say I’m a Shann fanboy. His American Masculine is easily on my list of top 10 short story collections, and I loved the poetry of Balefire, too. Now, along comes American Copper, which might be his finest work yet. It’s a stunning work of fiction which begs the reader to sit quietly, block the loud static of everyday living, and slip into the gulfstream of an author’s sure-handed prose which is at once muscular and gentle. American Copper, which is partially set here in my adopted hometown of Butte, Montana, gets my highest recommendation. If you don’t win the contest, you owe it to yourself to go out and buy your own copy (maybe even two, because you’ll want to share this beautiful book with another reader hungry for big-hearted literature). Read on for more information about the novel...

As Evelynne Lowry, the daughter of a copper baron, comes of age in early 20th-century Montana, the lives of horses dovetail with the lives of people and her own quest for womanhood becomes inextricably intertwined with the future of two men who face nearly insurmountable losses—a lonely bull rider named Zion from the Montana highline, and a Cheyenne team roper named William Black Kettle, the descendant of peace chiefs. An epic that runs from the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 to the ore and industry of the 1930s, American Copper is a novel not only about America’s hidden desire for regeneration through violence but about the ultimate cost of forgiveness and the demands of atonement. It also explores the genocidal colonization of the Cheyenne, the rise of big copper, and the unrelenting ascent of dominant culture. Evelynne’s story is a poignant elegy to horses, cowboys both native and Euro-American, the stubbornness of racism, and the entanglements of modern humanity during the first half of the twentieth century. Set against the wide plains and soaring mountainscapes of Montana, this is the American West re-envisioned, imbued with unconditional violence, but also sweet, sweet love.

For more about the writing of the book, please see my interview with Shann at the NW Book Lovers Blog.

If you’d like a chance at winning American Copper, simply email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. One entry per person, please. This contest is limited to those with mailing addresses in the U.S. Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on Nov. 12, at which time I’ll draw the winning name. I’ll announce the lucky reader on Nov. 13. If you’d like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week newsletter, simply add the words “Sign me up for the newsletter” in the body of your email. Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning?  Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter. Once you’ve done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying “I’ve shared” and I’ll put your name in the hat twice.

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