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Straddling the border between civilization and the wild, the stories in Half Wild give voice to the hopes, dreams, hungers, and fears of the people of Vermont. Adolescent girls, farmers, aging hippies, disconnected women, and solitary men all struggle to make sense of their loneliness and desires in the stark and often isolating spaces they call home—golden fields and white-veiled woods, dilapidated farmhouses and makeshift trailers, icy rivers and still lakes.

In “Creek Dippers,” a teenage girl vows to escape the same fate as that of her eccentric, rough-living mother. “Maggie in the Trees” explores the aftershocks of a man who surrenders to his passion for a wild, damaged woman—his longtime friend’s partner. In “God’s Country,” an elderly woman is unexpectedly reminded of a forbidden youthful passion and the chance she did not take. And in “The Women Where I’m From,” a young woman returns to her childhood home to face her mother’s illness
as well as her own sense of belonging.

In striking prose, powerful in its clarity and purity, MacArthur effortlessly renders characters who are wedded to the only land they know, people whose lives are inextricably intertwined—both with one another and with the natural world that surrounds them. MacArthur’s compelling and authentic voice carves out a distinctive vision of the wildness and beauty of rural Vermont.

Praise for Half Wild:

Move over Annie Proulx, Raymond Carver, and Flannery O’Connor. Make room for Vermont’s own Robin MacArthur. Half Wild is American fiction, and American literature, at its very best.”
—Howard Frank Mosher, author of Where the Rivers Flow North and God's Kingdom

“MacArthur writes with the ear of a musician and a classic, pure command of the short story form, like a dispatch from Eudora Welty in the great north woods.”
—Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise and Almost Famous Women

Half Wild... made me feel a bittersweet nostalgia for all the possible lives I could have led. This is a beautiful and emotionally rich book and it casts a big spell.”
—Diane Cook, author of Man V. Nature

“Feral, wise, deft, elegant, luminous, Robin MacArthur’s stories inhabit a reader with shimmering wonder.”
—Rick Bass, author of All The Land to Hold Us

“Robin MacArthur is a striking new voice and Half Wild is a stormy marvel of a debut.”
—Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me and The Isle of Youth

“MacArthur is able to render complicated situations precisely and depict tenderness and harshness with an equally deft hand.”
—Publishers Weekly