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The Mover of Bones

In one hand, Jesse Breedlove holds a bottle of Cuervo Gold-or what's left of it-in the other, the shovel with which he has just unearthed the bones of a small girl buried in the cellar of a Catholic church in Omaha, Nebraska. So begins Breedlove's odyssey across the literal and mythical landscapes of America, bearing the finely articulated body he has uncovered, the bones that would neither rest nor, in their restless eloquence, let him remain silent. Through the heart of the United States this mover of bones encounters people who live on the margins, geographically and emotionally, and who find that his presence and his plight summon their voices. Rumors surface and reports multiply as the lonely, the addicted, the isolated, the damned, the pure of heart, and the holy sane speak. From the dark and distant edges of society, they bear witness-sometimes directly, sometimes obliquely-to what the mover of bones and his burden mean. Defiler, redeemer, sinner, or saint-Breedlove is the stuff myths are made of, and The Mover of Bones, the first of the Tall Grass Trilogy of novels by the remarkably gifted Robert Vivian, evokes a collective dream of the heartland.
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Table of Contents

VOICES Das Lied von der Erde George Garvin Mrs. Clyde J. Parker John Clearwater Easter Hollins Nathan Webb Moffut Townsend of Miami, Oklahoma Little Woodpile Lizzie Vicek Pompadour Williams Earl Dodson Katie LeBrun Joshua Tidbowl Missy Sanders, One of the Lost Marian Keyes Wanders into the Night Ed Jakowski Lee Katz Der Abschied

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Evokes a collective dream of the heartland

About the Author

Robert Vivian's stories, poems, and essays have appeared in numerous publications, and his plays have been produced in New York City. He is the author of the award-winning book Cold Snap as Yearning (available in a Bison Books edition) and teaches English and creative writing at Alma College in Michigan.


"Vivian's ability to fully inhabit his characters, to render the Nebraska native Vivian uses the spare, vivid language of a playwright... [Readers] who seek haunting prose and staccato insights into human nature from all levels of the socioeconomic spectrum will follow Breedlove's journey willingly." - Booklist "There are many disturbing images in The Mover of Bones. Vivian doesn't shy away from death, or ugliness, or cruelty. But there are many beautiful images as well, and then there are the inexplicable mysteries. It seems to me this book contains every gorgeous, awe-inspiring, horrific thing life has to offer." - Katrina Denza "Beautifully, muscularly written." - poet Jane Hirshfield, author of Given Sugar, Given Salt and After "Robert Vivian's prose is lyrical and harrowing - harrowing in the Biblical sense. It is as if the killing fields were being irrigated with light. The Mover of Bones is disturbing, a chorus of the damned, but the music can be strangely sweet." - Sven Birkerts, author of An Artificial Wilderness: Essays on 20th-Century Literature

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