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American Copper ➶ [Read] ➲ American Copper By Shann Ray ➾ – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk As Evelynne Lowry, the daughter of a copper baron, comes of age in early th century Montana, the lives of horses dovetail with the lives of people and her own quest for womanhood becomes inextricably As Evelynne Lowry, the daughter of a copper baron, comes of age in early th century Montana, the lives of horses dovetail with the lives of people and her own quest for womanhood becomes inextricably intertwined with the future of two men who face nearly insurmountable losses a lonely steer wrestler named Zion from the Montana highline, and a Cheyenne team roper named William Black Kettle, the descendant of peace chiefsAn epic that runs from the Sand Creek Massacre ofto the ore and industry of the s, American Copper is a novel not only about America s hidden desire for regeneration through violence but about the ultimate cost of forgiveness and the demands of atonement It also explores the genocidal colonization of the Cheyenne, the rise of big copper, and the unrelenting ascent of dominant culture Evelynne s story is a poignant elegy to horses, cowboys both native and euro american, the stubbornness of racism, and the entanglements of modern humanity during the first half of the twentieth century Set against the wide plains and soaring mountainscapes of Montana, this is the American West re envisioned, imbued with unconditional violence, but also sweet, sweet love.

  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • American Copper
  • Shann Ray
  • 20 July 2019
  • 1609531213

About the Author: Shann Ray

SHANN RAY is the winner of the Subterrain Poetry Prize and the Pacific Northwest Inlander Short Story Award His work has appeared in Montana Quarterly, Northwest Review, McSweeney s, Narrative, StoryQuarterly, Poetry International and other venues He grew up in Montana, spent part of his childhood on the Northern Cheyenne reservation, and has lived in LA Alaska, Germany and Canada His poetry was an open competition winner in the Best New Poets series His debut collection of short stories, AMERICAN MASCULINE, won the Bread Loaf Writers Conference Bakeless Prize and appears with Graywolf Press Praise for AMERICAN MASCULINE Shann Ray s prose brings to mind Cormac McCarthy and Annie Proulx but is, thankfully, entirely his own His work is lyrical, prophetic, brutal yet ultimately hopeful Dave Eggers, National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for WHAT IS THE WHAT Shann Ray writes about small western towns and their residents in tough, poetic, and beautiful ways I recognize many of these people, and that s good, but I m also surprised and stunned by many others, which is great Buy the book and read it tonight You ll love it, too Sherman Alexie, National Book Award Winner for THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART TIME INDIAN, Pen Faulkner Award Winner for WAR DANCES Written in prose both fierce and elegant, American Masculine is a commanding debut With stories set in and around the reservation lands of the American West, Shann Ray hones the cutting edge between desire and need, despair and beauty The scope of these stories and depth of their complexity result in an extraordinary collection that is the gift of an exceptional talent I am reminded once again, of what it means to encounter genuine grace Claire Davis, author of WINTER RANGE The sentences in this book have such grace and muscularity that they seemperformed than written, and the author s images and events carry the nearly visceral weight of memory AMERICAN MASCULINE is a powerful, resonant work of literature, and Shann Ray is a masterful and original writer Robert Boswell, Bakeless Prize Judge Shann Ray has been up close with the vividly contrary complexities of the present day American West, the harshness and sweetness He s seen a lot of vast and miniscule things, and tells of them with compelling honesty What a fine break out collection William Kittredge, author of HOLE IN THE SKY Shann Ray knows his place and he knows his people AMERICAN MASCULINE is a rock solid, permanent collection with a great deal of moral heft These Montana stories dig deep into the heart of a landscape andimportantly into the hearts of flawed men and women whose lives, in Ray s hands, are given real weight and meaning I m grateful for this collection, for the depth of these characters and the beautiful patience of this writing Peter Orner, author of THE SECOND COMING OF MAVALA SHICONGO AMERICAN MASCULINE is a powerful fiction debut These ten stories reveal Shann Ray s unique voice, his lyrical vision of the West, and his always eloquent contemplation of the mysteries of grace and forgiveness Jess Walter, National Book Award finalist for THE ZERO Shann Ray writes about men and women, white and Native American, full bred and half bred he writes about love and betrayal, alcohol and abuse, pride, vanity, everyday losses and recoveries transpiring in ranch towns and small cities Most of all he writes about the soul in search of its reason and its peace Tom Jenks, Editor, Narrative MagazineCo editor with Raymond Carver of AMERICAN SHORT STORY MASTERPIECES Bold Lyrical Deeply felt Fiercely written In these stories, Shann Ray grapples with the terrible hurt we inflict on those we love, and finds that reconciliation, if far off, is at least possible Graywolf.



10 thoughts on “American Copper

  1. Russell Russell says:

    In large part because I am embarrassed about how self important I became after my first book was published, I pay close attention to my fellow writers, and am always amused at how many newly published authors go through a phase where they believe that everything that comes out of their mouth is absolutely brilliant So it s always refreshing when someone like Shann Ray comes along, a guy who displays a wonderful sense of perspective This is probably in large part because Shann, whose real name In large part because I am embarrassed about how self important I became after my first book was published, I pay close attention to my fellow writers, and am always amused at how many newly published authors go through a phase where they believe that everything that comes out of their mouth is absolutely brilliant So it s always refreshing when someone like Shann Ray comes along, a guy who displays a wonderful sense of perspective This is probably in large part because Shann, whose real name is Shann Ferch, has already enjoyed the limelight as a star basketball player in high school and college So getting this kind of attention is nothing new to him Ray s writing very much reflects the same quiet, patient perspective that he has in real life, which makes him someone that s easy to root for I have known many writers that I didn t admire who wrote books I admired a great deal And the opposite is also true But it s a rare combination when the two come together American Copper is a beautiful book It reminds me in structure and in tone of Michael Ondaatje s English Patient, which makes sense considering both writers are excellent poets Ray builds his story slowly, through images and characters created at his own pace, with one striking paragraph of description after another Each little gem of detail contributes in some significant way to the overall shape of this thing, this sculpture of words The best way to read this novel is so simply surrender to the flow, with the knowledge that eventually, all of these images are going to come together Ray uses multiple points of view, moving from a Native American team roper, Black Kettle, to a wealthy young copper heiress, Evelynne Lowry, to a monosyllabic horse trainer and fighter, a huge man named Zion, with ease and grace, and eventually these three lives become intertwined in ways that are unexpected but masterfully conveyed But perhaps the best part of this novel is the fact that Ray tells a simple story that somehow manages to address many of the most important issues of the American West, a subject that he is passionate about American Copper touches on racism, the damaging effects of self sufficiency, and the complicated marriage between commerce and the environment in a way that doesn t draw attention to itself It ends up being, surprisingly, a love story With American Copper, Shann Ray, whose story collection American Masculine also deftly addressed many of these same issues, has established himself as an important voice in the literature of the American West

  2. Nancy Freund Nancy Freund says:

    An absolutely beautiful book of family love and the limits of loyalty Don t be put off by my alliteration here Shann Ray s every page is truly lyrical and a sensory experience of the American West unlike any I ve read yet Horses, bears, mountains and rivers and ridges and flowers And butterflies and copper It s Lonesome Dove but without a self conscious sweeping musical score set to it It sreal, somehow and I absolutely love Lonesone Dove But what I mean is that this novel s An absolutely beautiful book of family love and the limits of loyalty Don t be put off by my alliteration here Shann Ray s every page is truly lyrical and a sensory experience of the American West unlike any I ve read yet Horses, bears, mountains and rivers and ridges and flowers And butterflies and copper It s Lonesome Dove but without a self conscious sweeping musical score set to it It sreal, somehow and I absolutely love Lonesone Dove But what I mean is that this novel seems to be written for its own sake, for the story it tells, without regard to any possible Hollywood deal ormoney to be made elsewhere on it The story itself reflects this authenticity and immediacy too It s All the Pretty Horses with a fullness of viewpoint that can only be achieved when characters are presented as real people, with real regrets and desires and goals, even when the outcomes of their dreams might not mirror an expected narrative arc Maybe it s not as neat as Cormac McCarthy would write it, and therein lies the magic It s Stanley Gordon West s people from Blind Your Ponies looking back a few generations It s so muchthan the American West, though It s Chinua Achebe s Things Fall Apart and Ngugi Wa Thing o s The River Between, and it s Nathan McCall s memoir Makes Me Wanna Holler in its moving revelation of the lasting nature of racial tension, white man versus the original inhabitants of a place, and the ways in which these tensions are both eased and often times brought to a head, toward violent ends and sometimes, something that looks a little bit like progress I can t believe I m the first person reviewing this thing on Goodreads I m so grateful this novel found its way to me so early in its public life I have a feeling I may be the first of MANY who will grant this work five stars, and who will live with William Black Kettle, Evelynne Lowry, Middie Zion, and the other important PEOPLE not characters for a very long time

  3. Katie Andraski Katie Andraski says:

    These days women are portrayed as heroes running through woods, flashing swords, guns or light sabers, showing men how to be accurate shots, how to be brave These are flashy, slender always slender heroes but not women I can relate to.When American Book Award winner Shann Ray skyped into the Writers As Readers book club, he said an impetus for writing American Copper was his love for his grandma, wife, daughter Their fierceness In the book, Evelyn s powerful dad shapes her strength, These days women are portrayed as heroes running through woods, flashing swords, guns or light sabers, showing men how to be accurate shots, how to be brave These are flashy, slender always slender heroes but not women I can relate to.When American Book Award winner Shann Ray skyped into the Writers As Readers book club, he said an impetus for writing American Copper was his love for his grandma, wife, daughter Their fierceness In the book, Evelyn s powerful dad shapes her strength, confidence and ability to love but won t let go She also grieves with a sorrow that throttles her She kicks clear of both She doesn t hate her father, even though, as a copper baron, he tries to possess everything She chooses to love a man.Sharon wondered how forgiveness showed up in American Copper when Ray emphasizes it in his TED talk and his life s work I embedded things in quiet ways throughout the novel Think of Evelyn as a soul bearing moral presence She, like many of the women I know, are never going to decide for evil against an intimate connection to the wilderness They will never decide against intimacy, he says.I sat up I want to be like that a woman who chooses intimacy over a hard heart, who finds it impossible to choose evil I want to stand up

  4. David Abrams David Abrams says:

    If I compared a book to a twilit mountain range washed in purples and oranges and reds, the sight of it causing you, the reader who has trudged through a dull landscape of ordinary novels, to stumble in your sojourn and fall to one knee in reverence for the toothy horizon and if I said reading this particular novel was as bracing and invigorating as drinking from a cold, clear alpine stream and if I said it was gorgeous as a coffee table book and deeply meditative as the Book of Psalms and if If I compared a book to a twilit mountain range washed in purples and oranges and reds, the sight of it causing you, the reader who has trudged through a dull landscape of ordinary novels, to stumble in your sojourn and fall to one knee in reverence for the toothy horizon and if I said reading this particular novel was as bracing and invigorating as drinking from a cold, clear alpine stream and if I said it was gorgeous as a coffee table book and deeply meditative as the Book of Psalms and if I said just one book can, however briefly, change the way you look at both the natural world and human nature if I said all that, you d want to read this book, wouldn t you Good, glad to hear it, because American Copper by Shann Ray is all this, andAnd if you think I m overstating the qualities of this novel set in Montana, well then my dear friend, it s obvious you haven t read it I m here to help you correct that oversight American Copper has a huge timesweep, from the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 to the years just before World War II, but it is, at heart, an intimate novel It traces the intertwined lives of three individuals Evelynn Lowry, daughter of a copper baron who all but owns the city of Butte, Montana William Black Kettle, a Native American who works the rodeo circuit and longs for peace in the midst of violence and a bear of a man named Middie who ends up working as a bouncer on a passenger train American Copper is a stunning work of fiction which begs the reader to sit quietly, block the loud static of everyday living, and slip into the gulfstream of an author s sure handed prose which is at once muscular and gentle Ray himself says it best in this sentence lifted from the pages of the novel The language in his mouth was stark and eloquent, warrior like one minute but in the next moment as light filled as water, and as lovely

  5. Holly Weiss Holly Weiss says:

    Set a century ago in Montana, the book explores xenophobia towards the Cheyenne and Chinese The plot moves slowly, but the book is redeemed by lyrical, almost mystical writing.

  6. Robert Robert says:

    This is one beautiful book A complete page turner I read the last 150 pages in one sitting If you liked Denis Johnson s TRAIN DREAMS or Robert Bausch s AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE, you ll love this action packed, poetic story set in early 20th century Montana Few books that I can think of really capture the clash of Native American culture and ruthless capitalism One of the best novels of 2015.

  7. Jane Van Hof Jane Van Hof says:

    Beautifully strong and poetic prose.

  8. Hannah Hannah says:

    3.5 A slow burn, lyrical and somehow haunting.

  9. Nancy Nancy says:

    I won a copy of American Copper by Shann Ray from The Quivering Pen blog by David Abrams When his review of the book posted, extolling the beauty of Ray s language, I set it on the To Be Read Next pile Abrams wrote, If I said just one book can, however briefly, change the way you look at both the natural world and human nature if I said all that, you d want to read this book, wouldn t you American Copper is a story of racism and the evil in men, and it is a love story In the first decades I won a copy of American Copper by Shann Ray from The Quivering Pen blog by David Abrams When his review of the book posted, extolling the beauty of Ray s language, I set it on the To Be Read Next pile Abrams wrote, If I said just one book can, however briefly, change the way you look at both the natural world and human nature if I said all that, you d want to read this book, wouldn t you American Copper is a story of racism and the evil in men, and it is a love story In the first decades of the 20th c, automobiles are seen in the Butte, Montana streets but rodeo competitions still run the circuit Native Americans and Chinese are considered sub human, and gangs are free to deal out punishments to those who step out of line Copper has made immigrant Baron Josef Lowry not only rich but the most powerful man around, his arm reaching to Washington, D.C He is obsessed with wealth and controls everyone in his life, especially his son and daughter After losing his wife he commands his children to never marry he needs them he says, and he intends to pass his copper mines and wealth to their care His daughter Evelynne is given everything she physically needs Her father teaches her about the natural world and gathers her poetry for publication back east After her brother s death, Evelynne s grief turns her into a recluse Reaching womanhood, Eve longs to escape her ivory tower and searches for a man strong enough, or audacious enough, to stand up to her father and take her away The evil that inhabits men, and the capacity for love is explored in eloquent prose I am glad to have read this book.The book cover blurbs include the marvelous Andra Barrett, whose historical short stories in Ship Fever and Servants of the Map I adore, wrote, This grave, unusual novel unfolds with a beautiful evenhandedness, balancing the outer world and inner life, Cheyenne and white experiences of early 20th century Montana Ray s feel for the heart and soul of Montana and its people all its people graces every page And Dave Eggers, author of the memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and A Hologram for a King, called the book Lyrical, prophetic, brutal, yet ultimately hopeful Others compared this first novel s writing to Cormac McCarthy s Cities of the Plains

  10. Jeri Rowe Jeri Rowe says:

    This is a beautifully written book The plot moves slow, between a giant of a man named Middie and Cheyenne roper known simply as William Black Kettle It s setthan a century ago in Montana, and both men are bound by their love of a woman, a poet, the daughter of a copper baron Yet, Ray s writing erases problems of a slow moving plot It s reminiscent of Kevin Powers Yellow Birds What s interesting with both Powers and Ray is that their both poets, men whose music is found with the s This is a beautifully written book The plot moves slow, between a giant of a man named Middie and Cheyenne roper known simply as William Black Kettle It s setthan a century ago in Montana, and both men are bound by their love of a woman, a poet, the daughter of a copper baron Yet, Ray s writing erases problems of a slow moving plot It s reminiscent of Kevin Powers Yellow Birds What s interesting with both Powers and Ray is that their both poets, men whose music is found with the syncopation of words That was easily seen in Yellow Birds And it s seen here

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