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Emmi | Sandy Moffett | 9781948509565 | $21.99 | 246p | Trade paper | Release June, 2024

A second novel by Sandy Moffett.

Emily Reese, an eleven-year-old girl who has trouble reading, trouble with numbers, trouble with school, trouble with friends, who is only happy when she is alone in a special wild place that she considers her own.

Wade McPherson, an eighty-eight-year-old retired English professor whose life now revolves around a prairie he has restored and a woodland he likes to believe is his own.

Frank Reese, a single father who adores his daughter above all things and blames himself for the death of her mother in a car crash on an icy Chicago freeway.

Angelina Valenzuela, a young Mexican woman fleeing south Texas and a past she is not proud of who has come north to try and bring life to a shrunken heart.

In a small rural town in a southern Iowa county on the border of the Skunk River State Forest the largest and last remnant of wilderness in the state, these four enter into a battle against corporate greed, political ambition, and maniacal trophy addiction to save this wild place and a magnificent snow-white stag that is rumored to live there. Three murders bring a slew of other crazy characters into the fray as they fight to save these priceless remains of a time past.

Emmi is a captivating story about the undulating farmland, prairies and forests of southeast Iowa (not to mention South Dakota, backwater Texas and the sun swept mountains of Tajikistan). It’s about endearing people and nasty scumbag people. It’s a love story. It’s a coming-of-age story. It’s about courage and cowardice. It explores the wellsprings of our ancestry as hunter-gatherers and the poisoning of that well today. The centerpiece of the novel is the quest for a Melvillian albino stag, as fey as the evening light. But like all good fiction, the journey isn’t where the grace resides. It’s in Moffett’s myriad of humble (and often slyly humorous) observations along the way. These make the narrative as rich as a blooming prairie.” —David G. Campbell, Ph.D., author, A Land of  Ghosts: The Braided Lives of People and the Forest in Far Western Amazonia

“Like Faulkner, Sandy Moffett returns in this, his second, novel to the fictitious setting of the first – Nachawinga Co., Iowa – and to some of the same characters as well, so we’re really getting to know the place and its people, warts and all. Moffett is a gifted raconteur who tells a gripping story about a 10 year old girl, her widowed game warden father,  a lot of guns, a mysterious woman who doesn’t say much but shoots straight, an intentional murderer, an unintentional murderer, and an elusive white buck that is the focus of a great deal of greed and a great deal of compassion. Interwoven with the story is hard-hitting social commentary about the way that the land and people are mistreated by (did I already use this word?) greed. Emmi is a riveting page-turner from start to finish. Don’t miss it.”–Jonathan Andelson, director emeritus, Center for Prairie Studies, Grinnell College

“In his new novel, “Emmi”, Sandy Moffett once again takes readers on a deep foray into the dark heart of his beloved Iowa. The plot centers on a mystical white deer and those, like eleven-year-old Emmi, who seek to treasure and protect the deer, and those, a tag team of homicidal misfits, who seek to destroy it. Moffett has a keen eye for the smallest, telling details and a botanist’s appreciation for the natural world. He also has a keen ear; his prose rises and falls like the broad, brooding hills of Nachawinga County. “Emmi” is a novel of great grace and great malevolence; from an author whose imagination is as fertile as an Iowa cornfield.”–Joe Feldman, Actor, Director, Playwright