Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!
Set in the gloriously rugged backwoods of the Pacific Northwest in the 1970s, Nina Shengold’s gripping debut novel follows three people in search of new lives deep into uncharted terrain of the body and heart.
When rough-hewn loner Earley Ritter picks up a hitchhiker one rainy night, he can’t imagine how much it will change his life. A "shake-rat" who salvages cedar stumps left when loggers clearcut, Earley seems to have little in common with Reed Alton, a gifted Berkeley dropout. But when Earley meets Zan, the fiery and mysterious woman Reed has been following, erotic sparks fly in unexpected directions. Thrown together in the splendid isolation of the woods, with passions and tensions mounting, the unlikely trio achieves a fragile balance that—like their idyllic patch of forest—will be shattered by violence. At once a page-turning psychological drama and a colorful, wildly comic recreation of a lost time and place, Clearcut explores the boundaries that divide us, and what it takes to cross them.
“A beautiful, romantic, alive book. Clearcut is the patchouli and reckless love of the ‘70s, the rugged beauty and wreckage of the Pacific Northwest forests, woven together with a storyteller's grace and the great grand character of Earley Ritter, with whom every reader will fall in love.” —Amy Bloom, author of Love Invents Us
“A stunning book, one of the best literary novels I have come across in a long time. Shengold's prose is fluent like a river, and her characters are as sharp as knives in this beautiful love story of those forgotten by the world and lost in the ancient forests and muddy mountains of the pristine northwest.” —Da Chen, author of Colors of the Mountain
“A complex love story with unexpected turns and switchbacks. The trio of characters at the center of Clearcut is tough and unforgettable. We follow them eagerly into the forest of human feelings. Clearcut is a novel of grit and a great heart.” —John Griesemer, author of Signal & Noise and No One Thinks of Greenland
“This great, raw novel takes the reader on a wild backroads tour of the hidden lives of tree planters and shake rats. Clearcut captures a time and place with sensuous, sharply observed writing. It evokes the innocence and danger of Jon Krakauer's Into The Wild. Stunning.” —Laura Shaine Cunningham, author of Sleeping Arrangements and Dreams of Rescue
“It’s a wild ride, in a ‘58 GMC pickup with one headlight, careening down a rutted mountain road, hilarious one minute and tragic the next. Shengold captures the sorrow and loss that are the constant companions of bliss.” —Rebecca Stowe, author of The Shadow of Desire