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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Hurt People

Hurt People

A Novel

Cote Smith

FSG Originals


Summer of 1988. Leavenworth, Kansas: a town with four major prisons, gripped by the recent escape of a convict. Yet for two young brothers, all that matters is the pool in their apartment complex. They spend their blissful days practicing dives while their divorcée mother works her day shift at the golf course and their policeman father patrols the streets. But when a mysterious stranger appears poolside and creates a rift between the brothers, the younger one wonders just what these visits to the pool might ultimately cost.

Based on Cote Smith's well-received short story of the same name, Hurt People will hold you in its grip to the very last page. Eerily atmospheric, lean, and forceful, this is a debut from a slyly talented new writer.


ALL WE WANTED was the pool. It waited in the center of our apartment complex, sleeping beneath a blue tarp. Sometimes the wind snuck under the tarp and puffed it up as it passed, giving the pool an irregular, visible pulse.


Reviews from Goodreads

Cote Smith

Cote Smith grew up in Leavenworth, Kansas, and various army bases around the country. He earned his MFA from the University of Kansas. His work has been featured in One Story and FiveChapters. Smith lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

image of Cote Smitho
Mick Cottin

Cote Smith