After an astounding debut with his novel Sister, Jim Lewis once again proves his remarkable talent with Why the Tree Loves the Ax.
Caroline Harrison is a young woman drifting across the country from a secret past to an uncertain future. Stranded by accident in a small Texas city, she decides to settle down and stay, only to have her peace destroyed by a moment of inspired fury. From there she's on the run, to New York City to confront her ex-husband, and then upstate, where she lands in a small house in the woods inhabited by three men and an eight-year-old boy—a tiny criminal community. But will they help her or hurt her? And what exactly are they scheming?
This is a story of female violence, fear, and resourcefulness. It is a meditation on identity and memory. Lewis's writing is deft and haunting, and the story establishes a new model for women's narrative. Why the Tree Loves the Ax is sure to put Lewis in the pantheon of important young American writers.
Jim Lewis was raised in New York and London. He has taught philosophy and literature at Columbia University, and has written about both politics and the arts for many magazines, journals, and museum catalogs. He has published two previous novels, Sister and Why the Tree Loves the Ax; collaborated on the story treatment for the film Kids; and written a screenplay, based on a short story of his own, for Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios. He lives in Austin, Texas.