Little Century

Front Cover
Thorndike Press, 2012 - Fiction - 515 pages
17 Reviews

In the tradition of such classics as "My Antonia "and "There Will Be Blood," Anna Keesey's "Little Century "is a resonant and moving debut novel by a writer of confident gifts.
Orphaned after the death of her mother, eighteen-year-old Esther Chambers heads west in search of her only living relative. In the lawless frontier town of Century, Oregon, she's met by her distant cousin, a laconic cattle rancher named Ferris Pickett. Pick leads her to a tiny cabin by a small lake called Half-a-Mind, and there she begins her new life as a homesteader. If she can hold out for five years, the land will join Pick's already impressive spread.
But Esther discovers that this town on the edge of civilization is in the midst of a range war. There's plenty of land, but somehow it is not enough for the ranchers--it's cattle against sheep, with water at a premium. In this charged climate, small incidents of violence swiftly escalate, and Esther finds her sympathies divided between her cousin and a sheepherder named Ben Cruff, a sworn enemy of the cattle ranchers. As her feelings for Ben and for her land grow, she begins to see she can't be loyal to both.
"Little Century "maps our country's cutthroat legacy of dispossession and greed, even as it celebrates the ecstatic visions of what America could become.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Maryka - LibraryThing

This is a well-told story of a little town once called Century and the people who have settled there, oftentimes to hide from their past. The wrangles between cattle and sheep men are exploited to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KatieANYC - LibraryThing

Keesey has impeccable restraint, and I love the way she writes Esther, such a strong heroine but so fragile as well. The story itself is a slow build, but Keesey handles the drama of the final act ... Read full review

About the author (2012)

Anna Keesey is a graduate of Stanford University and of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including "Best American Short Stories." She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship and has held residencies at MacDowell, Bread Loaf, Yaddo, and Provincetown. Keesey teaches English and creative writing at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon.

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