. . .Lots of quiet again. But not the good kind. More like creek clay thick and sticky on crawdaddy days.

A debut coming of age story set in Southern woods filled drugs and violence--and a hidden tradition of voodoo-like magic. In a hard-scrabble town where family history defines destinies, a handful of teenagers bear witness to old traumas that still haunt adults working to keep food on the table. Modern pressures deepen old ruts, and in a circle of friends, each looks for their own path. A local drug ring offers high-speed comforts, and while some fall for easy choices, others find the strength to make their own place in the woods.

Advance praise for
Children of the Country

"Children of the Country is a literary novel that reads like a thriller. In luminous prose, Shaffer tells a riveting, terrifying story of human violence, cruelty, and undying love, and she never puts a foot wrong. A marvelous debut."
— Pinckney Benedict, author of Miracle Boy and Other Stories and Dogs of God

“In this haunting debut, Abigail Shaffer plumbs the depths of the Rough South as too few female voices do. She chronicles generations of youth spent on splintered porches and sweaty backseats, lost to the specters of sex, drugs, and short horizons. I hear Bonnie Jo Campbell in her work, but more than that I hear Harry Crews and Breece Pancake and Larry Brown, car wheels on a gravel road, the echo of a barn owl near dawn. This is a writer to listen to, for years to come.”
— Ashley Warlick, author of The Arrangement and Seek the Living

“There is magic within these pages. Shaffer’s prose, gorgeous though it is, is merely our guide into the dark piney woods, the haunting and shimmering psyches from which characters speak to us in tongues of generational wisdom and survival. A formidable debut.”
— April Ford, author of The Poor Children

"Children of the Country is a beautiful book that depicts a hard way of life without ever condescending to the characters or losing sight of their humanity." - Vickie Fang at the Best New Fiction

"True to its billing as an 'unflinching debut,' Abigail R. Shaffer’s stylish, provocative Children of the Country is as hard-hitting as many of its cold-blooded, barbarically uncouth male characters who dominate its vast, untamed wooded landscape. . . Children of the Country is an emotionally rewarding, captivating family saga. Abigail R. Shaffer’s exquisite lyrical prose and refreshingly bold storytelling marks this as a notable debut, one as vivid and imposing as its wooded backcountry setting." - Nicholas Litchfield at the Colorado Review

November 30, 2016, Barnes & Noble, Town Center Plaza, Leawood, KS

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Abigail R. Shaffer earned her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. Her work has appeared in Crab Creek Review, SLAB Literary Journal and other journals. With roots in the Ozarks, she lived for several years in Arkansas. She's also earned an MSW, teaches writing and resides in the Midwest.

Children of the Country
Abigail R. Shaffer
290 pages
$16.00 paperback ISBN 9781937402976
November 2016

Sheri pushes her lips into a pout, reveling in the feel of the satiny layers of Miami Samba coating her lips. . .

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