WHISKEY WHEN WE'RE DRY: A Novel by John Larison
Named a Best Book by Entertainment Weekly, O Magazine, Goodreads, Southern Living, Outside Magazine, HelloGiggles, Parade, Fodor’s Travel, Sioux City Journal, Read it Forward, Medium.com, and NPR’s All Things Considered.
In the spring of 1885, seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself orphaned and alone on her family's homestead. Desperate to fend off starvation and predatory neighbors, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains to find her outlaw brother Noah and bring him home.
Wrestling with her brother's outlaw identity, and haunted by questions about her own, Jess must outmaneuver those who underestimate her, ultimately rising to become a hero in her own right.
Told in Jess's wholly original and unforgettable voice, Whiskey When We're Dry is a stunning achievement, an epic as expansive as America itself--and a reckoning with the myths that are entwined with our history.
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"A thunderclap of originality, here is a fresh voice and fresh take on one of the oldest stories we tell about ourselves as Americans and Westerners. It's riveting in all the right ways -- a damn good read that stayed with me long after closing the covers." – Timothy Egan, New York Time bestselling author of THE WORST HARD TIME
"An orphan girl straight out of a Gillian Welch song, betrayed in every way imaginable by the brutality that 'won the West,' is left no way to hew a family or honor but to become a virtuoso cross-dressed killer of Manifest Destiny's men. As Jessilyn Harney takes on the great lies and liars with lyrical violence, her voice takes flight, becoming a sustained, forlornly beautiful, mind-bending aria for our age." – David James Duncan, author of The River Why
"Whiskey When We're Dry is a newfangled tale of the lawless old West, the story of a surprising heroine, a "trick-shooter" who can inflict death in a duel or a brawl. In her search for home and family, orphaned Jessilyn Harney rides out on a lonely quest, and invents herself anew, finding "love outside of chance." Narrated in a rough voice cobbled out of slang and sagebrush, and a sharp sense of humor, Larison's novel is a vivid and fast-paced frontier saga." --Kate Manning, author, My Notorious Life
Select Profiles and Interviews:
Sept 13, 2018: On-air with Ken Jones of KBOO
August 24, 2018 On-air interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting's Think Out Loud.
August 20, 2018 Profile in Kirkus Reviews
August 3, 2018 Interview with Cowboys and Indians Magazine