What This River Keeps

What This River Keeps

A Novel
Greg Schwipps
Distribution: World
Publication date: 2/2/2012
Format: paper 350 pages
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-00236-5
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2010 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Emerging Author Award
In the rolling hills of southern Indiana, an elderly couple copes with the fear that their river bottom farm—the only home they've ever known—will be taken from them through an act of eminent domain. The river flowing through their land, where the old man has fished nearly every day of his life, may be dammed to form a reservoir. Their son, meanwhile, sinks deeper into troubles of his own, struggling to determine his place in a new romantic relationship and the duty he owes to his family’s legacy. What This River Keeps is a beautiful and heartfelt novel that reflects upon what it means to love a place and a family, and the sometimes staggering cost of that love.

Author Bio

Greg Schwipps is author (with Peter Kaminsky) of Fishing for Dummies and his short fiction has appeared in Esquire. He teaches creative writing at DePauw University.


"What This River Keeps bears comparison to the best work of Steinbeck—in this case we're given the vivid portrayal of the common working men and women of rural Indiana juxtaposed against great forces, without pity or hope, but without true defeat, though they may well lose all in the end. Schwipps also gives us, in full measure, the ancient father and son story, reinvented and made new; the complications of family; the friendship between men; the long tested love between married people; the discovery of the responsibilities of love; the love and care of the land; the love of a river; the keen life of the outdoors; the close attention to the earth in its seasons and myriad variousness." —Kent Haruf, author of Plainsong, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"Like the best work of Richard Russo, Greg Schwipps lushly creates the depth and breadth of a single community with absorbing detail, a refreshing keenness and lyric kind-heartedness. These are likeable, imperfect people, beautifully drawn, living without pretense in what they want from the world. They are connected to the place in which they live, through their animals, their children, their machines, and most of all by the small river that drifts—muddy and rich—through the space they occupy." —Tom Chiarella, fiction editor,
Esquire magazine, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"With this tender, clear-eyed novel, Greg Schwipps has added a worthy volume to the American literature of place, in the tradition of Willa Cather, Wallace Stegner, and Wendell Berry. He hears music in country speech, sees marvels on back roads, senses dignity in ordinary lives. Because of the loving regard he shows toward his characters and their land, he strengthens our own attachments to neighbors and Home." —Scott Russell Sanders, author of
A Conservationist Manifesto , reviewing a previous edition or volume

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