2001 Winner, Utah Arts Council Original Writing Competition Publishing Prize
2007 Winner, Independent Publishers Silver Medal
2008 Winner, Utah Book Award
Highly original and extremely complex—a wonderful read of a novel. Truly a work of serious and profound vision. —Helena Maria Viramontes, author of Under the Feet of Jesus and The Moths and Other Stories
Gretta Bitsilly, gin-steeped mother of two and self-proclaimed expert at standing outside the margins of ethnicity and peering in, has been all but eclipsed by the world that eludes her--as a wife, a writer, a skeptic in "the other land of Zion," Utah. Gretta has set off to Fort Defiance, Arizona, where she hopes to convince her Navajo husband, who has escaped not from his family but from alcoholism, to come home.
Over a sputtering two-steps-forward, one-step-back desert journey, Gretta is diverted by chance, seizures, an inconstant memory, and the disjointed character of her irresolute quest.
She is fueled by a volatile mix of rage and curiosity and is rendered careless by ambivalence toward her marriage--she knows a welcome mat will not be waiting for her, "that white girl" who can't seem to get anything right. On route Gretta finds herself lost in the landscape, in strange company, or in her own convolution of language and inner space. With a dictionary and a laptop she attempts to write herself into a better existence--a hopeful existence--and to connect points of intellectual, physical, even spiritual reference.
This tale, though dark and difficult, is infused with tart, twisted humor. Confused, disheveled, self-deprecating, and self-destructive, Gretta is also sharp and funny. Here, first-time novelist Christine Allen-Yazzie breaks apart her own narrative arc but with gritty reality seals it near-shut again, if in rearrangement, drawing us into Gretta's wrestling match with herself, her husband, her addiction, and the road.
Worldwide rights available excluding English language rights for sale and distribution in Canada and the United States including U.S. territories and possessions.
University Press of Colorado
Founded in 1965, the University Press of Colorado is a nonprofit cooperative publishing enterprise supported, in part, by Adams State University, Colorado State University, Fort Lewis College, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Regis University, University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado, Utah State University, and Western State Colorado University.In 2012, University Press of Colorado merged with Utah State University Press, which was established in 1972. (For more on this merger, you can see a press release here.) USU Press titles are managed as an active imprint of University Press of Colorado, and we maintain offices in both Boulder, Colorado, and Logan, Utah.