Wounded A Novel

Percival Everett

Graywolf Press



256 Pages



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Winner of the 2006 Pen USA Literary Award for Fiction  Training horses is dangerous—a head-to-head confrontation with 1,000 pounds of muscle and little sense takes courage, but more importantly patience and smarts. It is these same qualities that allow John and his uncle Gus to live in the beautiful high desert of Wyoming. A black horse trainer is a curiosity, but a familiar curiosity in these parts. It is the brutal murder of a young gay man, however, that pushes this small community to the teetering edge of intolerance.  As the first blizzard of the season gains momentum, John is forced to reckon not only with the daily burden of unruly horses, a three-legged coyote pup, an escape-artist mule, and too many people, but also with a father-son war over homosexuality, random hate crimes, and—perhaps most frightening of all—a chance for love.  Highly praised for his storytelling and ability to address the toughest issues of our time with humor, grace, and originality, Everett offers a brilliant novel that explores the alarming consequences of hatred in a divided America.


Praise for Wounded

"Starts rhapsodically and rewards the reader with so many moments of love and laughter—Wounded is full of shocks and surprises."—Los Angeles Times

"While it's tempting to compare Wounded to something by Cormac McCarthy or Walter Van Tilberg Clark, in which a brutal landscape makes for brutal men, this book is more about men who resist such pressures with all the humanity they can muster."—Time Out Chicago

"An appealing air of menace hangs over the action in Everett's latest novel, a modern-day western where the cowboys and Indians get along and the real threat comes from the neo-Nazi in the hills . . . His acerbic intelligence remains on display, and the result is an unsettling look at intolerance and its logical end in violence."—Gregory Cowles, The New York Times Book Review

"Everett's short novel moves quickly from incident to incident, sketching in events and characters with admirable eloquence. It demonstrates that the essence of suspense in a novel is not that the reader does not know what will happen but that the reader knows perfectly well what will happen and wonders only how it will happen and when . . . Wounded is a briskly written novel by an author of ready intelligence and considerable wit who is not shy about taking on complicated issues."—The Washington Post Book World

"John Hunt is a black man, a horse trainer, living with aging Uncle Gus on a ranch outside a small town in Wyoming. Hunt is recovering from the loss of his wife six years earlier in an accident he feels partly responsible for, even as he faces the budding romance developing with his neighbor Morgan. On the surface, Hunt's race seems to have little impact on the area, with its mix of whites and Indians. But the influx of white militia adds to the strain just beneath the surface that has always prompted Hunt's vigilance. When David, the son of an old college friend, comes to town with his gay lover, Hunt is forced to face the grim realities of his environment. Everett is masterful at conveying the slow pace of life in the region, the harshness of the terrain, the difficulty of the work, the reliance on neighbors, and the fear of humans more than wild animals."—Vanessa Bush, Booklist

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Percival Everett is a professor of English at the University of Southern California and the author of sixteen books, including American Desert, Erasure, and Glyph. He lives in Los Angeles.
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  • Percival Everett

  • Percival Everett is a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California and the author of nineteen books, including American Desert, Erasure, and Glyph. He lives in Los Angeles, California.