Hell's Bottom, Colorado
Winner of the PEN USA for Fiction and the Milkweed National Fiction Prize, Pritchett’s debut book is a collection of linked short stories. On Hell's Bottom Ranch, a section of land below the Front Range, there are women like Renny who prefer a "little hell swirled with their heaven" and men like Ben, her husband, who's "gotten used to smoothing over Renny's excesses." There is a daughter who plays it too safe and a daughter plagued by only "half-wanting" what life has to offer. The ranch has been the site of birth and deaths of both cattle and children, as well as moments of amazing harmony and clear vision.
"Displays the talent of a brilliant, new writer."
"Pritchett excels at juxtaposing the sensuous with the severe, the rapturous with the repugnant."
vividly conveys a world where decency and humanity are challenged repeatedly,
and diminished, yet still manage to gain small, significant victories."
"Pritchett's debut is an admirable,
steely-eyed collection of stories and vignettes featuring a family of
ranchers in mountain-shadowed Colorado. . . . Pritchett, raised a rancher
herself, writes beautifully about the hard work and casual cruelty of
ranch life. . . . Fans of Annie Proulx's Close Range and Jon
Billman's When We Were Wolves should enjoy this visceral, accomplished