Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Fencing the Sky

Fencing the Sky

A Novel

James Galvin

Henry Holt and Co.



A haunting novel of the American West about an accidental murder that springs from the best intentions.

Stepping his horse through the lush, beaver-worked draw looking for stray cows, Mike Arans never imagined that, moments later, he'd find himself swinging a nylon loop around Merriweather Snipes and pulling until his neck snapped. Once Snipes was dead, Mike fished a notepad and a stub of pencil from his pocket, wrote "I did this," signed his name, and stuffed the note into Snipes's breast pocket. Then Mike rode to his house, stocked up on supplies, and rode due west.

Fencing the Sky is the story of how circumstances spiral out of control, the story of gross indifference and avarice in the face of breathtaking beauty. Ultimately, James Galvin's novel is a book about violence and how it destroys lives when the land is at stake. This long-awaited lyrical first novel is nothing less than the story of the disappearance of the American West.


Praise for Fencing the Sky

“A masterpiece. The Meadow is one of the best books ever written about the American West.” —William Kittredge

“A unique and extraordinary book, a mixture of novel and natural history wherein Galvin reinvents the form, the true mark of a genuine artist...I can't recomm it too highly.” —Jim Harrison

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

James Galvin

Celebrated poet, nonfiction writer, and (now) novelist James Galvin is the author of The Meadow (Owl Books, 0-8050-2703-3, $12.00) and a teacher at the University of Iowa writer's program. He lives in Laramie, Wyoming, where he has worked as a rancher part of each year all his life.

James Galvin

James Galvin