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Penguin: Adult Hardcover & Trade Paperback Summer 2019

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Copperhead
A Novel
By (author): Alexi Zentner
9781984877284 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Literary Jul 09, 2019
$35.00 CAD
Active 6.23 x 9.28 x 1.18 in 368 pages Viking
“One of the bravest, most bracing novels I’ve read in years.”—Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Jessup’s stepfather gave him almost everything good in his life—a sober mother, a sister, a sense of home, and the game of football. But during the years that David John spent in prison for his part in a brutal hate crime, Jessup came to realize that his stepfather is also a source of lethal poison for his family. Now it’s Jessup’s senior year, and all he wants to do is lay low until he can accept one of the football scholarships that will be his ticket out of town.

So when his stepfather is released from prison, Jessup is faced with an impossible choice: condemn the man who saved his family or accept his part in his family’s legacy of bigotry. Before he can choose a side, Jessup will cause a terrible accident and cover it up—a mistake with the power to ruin them all.

Told with relentless honesty and a ferocious gaze directed at contemporary America’s darkest corners, Copperhead vibrates with the energy released by football tackles and car crashes and asks uncomfortable questions about the price we pay—and the mistakes we’ll repeat—when we live under the weight of a history we’ve yet to reckon with. Alexi Zentner unspools the story of boys who think they’re men and of the entrenched thinking behind a split-second decision, and asks whether hatred, prejudice, and violence can ever be unlearned.

AUTHOR’S COMPELLING PERSONAL STORY: The author’s mother is a prominent activist working against racism and anti-Semitism. When the author was 18, the house his parents used as an office, which was next door to their family home, was firebombed by white supremacists. His parents rebuilt the house, but a year later, it was firebombed again. The author has spent years trying to understand how people come to believe in racist ideologies, and how to face bigotry with love and humanity. This is a book that he’s been waiting his entire life to write.

WELL-CONNECTED: With a roster of literary connections and critical acclaim behind him, Zentner is poised to break out with this timely novel. Tea Obreht calls him “one of the greatest literary architects and mythmakers working today.”

Alexi Zentner is the award-winning author of two previous novels, The Lobster Kings and Touch. His fiction has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, Glimmer Train, and The O. Henry Prize Stories 2008, among others. He lives with his family in Ithaca, New York.

Author Residence: Ithaca, NY

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Author Website: AlexiZentner.com

Author Social Media: Twitter: @AlexiZentner; Facebook.com/AlexiZentnerWriter

Praise for Alexi Zentner:

Touch is a lovely debut, at once dreamy and riveting, like a heavy snowfall watched from a vantage point safe indoors, beside a blazing fire.”—The Washington Post

“A breathtaking debut…filled with ghosts and demons who lurk in the Canadian north woods.” —People

“Zentner fills his novel with arresting, unforgettable images…. As dazzling as the snow that fills its pages, Touch marks Zentner out as a talent to watch.” —The Times of London

“Steeped in familial legend and dusted with maritime magic…Zentner keeps a firm grip on his tale.”—The Boston Globe

“Eerie, elegiac debut…. The tales he tells Stephen…are woven in so seamlessly that the reader never questions their validity. The rugged wilderness is captured exquisitely, as is Stephen’s uncommon childhood, and despite a narrative rife with tragedy, Zentner’s elegant prose keeps the story buoyant.”—Publishers Weekly

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