Randolph Reads from “Haven’s Wake” at Porter Square Books

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Ladette Porter Square Books

On Thursday, April 11th, Ploughshares Editor-in-Chief Ladette Randolph read from her new novel, Haven’s Wake, at Porter Square Books, in Cambridge, MA.

About the book:

Early July, and the corn in eastern Nebraska stands ten feet tall; after a near-decade of drought, it seems too good to be true, and everyone is watching the sky for trouble. For the Grebels, whose plots of organic crops trace a modest patchwork among the vast fields of soybeans and corn, trouble arrives from a different quarter in the form of Elsa’s voice on her estranged son’s answering machine: “Your father’s dead. You’ll probably want to come home.”

When a tractor accident fells the patriarch of this Mennonite family, the threads holding them together are suddenly drawn taut, singing with the tensions of a lifetime’s worth of love and faith, betrayal and shame. Through the competing voices of those gathered for Haven Grebel’s funeral, acts of loyalty and failures, long-suppressed resentments and a tragic secret are brought to light, expressing a larger, complex truth.

Although our dear editor has now resided in Ploughshares‘ hometown of Boston for almost five years, she is a fifth-generation Nebraskan. That familiarity with place shines in her prose, and during the Q&A session, a former resident of Nebraska praised Randolph for the accuracy of her descriptions.

For more information about Haven’s Wake, please visit the University of Nebraska Press site, or Ladette Randolph’s site.