You will have to read this novel for yourself to see how a brilliant writer has found the perfect form for evoking the effects of time and place and the forces of history and nature on the lives of human beings. As the title suggests, the movement of Twister is as inexorable as it is unpredictable. Genanne Walsh is a writer of extraordinary powers. The work of this novel is both raw and lush with poetry. Her characters live and breathe, and in their intersections, real truths are revealed.
— LAURA KASISCHKE, author of Mind of Winter
Genanne Walsh’s Twister is a chronicle of a small town amid the calm before the storm— but so much more. This book digs beneath the surface of place to create a kind of Spoon River Anthology for our time replete with secrets, truths, startling reckonings—and very, very threatening weather. As fine a new novel as you will read this year.
— PETER ORNER, author of Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge
Genanne Walsh’s Twister is a gripping page-turner, but also has that much rarer quality of transcendent, almost preternatural empathy that very few works of fiction possess. Twister has it. Novels often get us to walk in someone else’s shoes, but only rarely to climb into someone else’s skin. Walsh miraculously climbs into the skin of not just one, but a dozen characters. When I finished Twister, I felt the way the Old Man in the novel felt about being struck by lightning: “It furrowed me into something new.”
— ROBERT THOMAS, author of Bridge
Walsh is incredibly intelligent, fierce, and, at times, tender with her prose. What excites me most about Twister is its ambition. … an outstanding debut.
— Full Stop
By turns terrifying and humorous, clear-eyed and deep-hearted, Twister brings us into the center of a storm as a small Midwestern town mourns the death of a young soldier. Rose, the soldier’s fiercely independent mother, may or may not be losing her grip on reality, and we seek answers along with the constellation of family, friends, neighbors, and townspeople whose lives intertwine with hers. Each new viewpoint calls up singular memories and intrigue, raising stakes while the twister gathers force. As the storm drives into the heart of town secrets are illuminated, pasts are resurrected, and lives are shaken to the core. An unforgettable debut from a keen observer and chronicler of nature, people, and the ineffable.
Awarded the Big Moose Prize for the Novel, Twister was published by Black Lawrence Press in December 2015. Twister was selected as a Finalist for the 2016 Housatonic Book Award in Fiction and the 2016 Sarton Women’s Book Award.
Read a selection from the book
Read the unofficial, occasionally irreverent author Q&A
Twister is available in paperback and e-book:
Cover design: Janeen Jang. Cover image: Camille Seaman.