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The Falls of the Wyona by David Brendan Hopes

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This is the story of a high school football hero, Vince, and a new kid at school, Glen, and how their love or each other grows - solidified, and yet also threatened, by their love of nature and the river that flows near their Western North Carolina homes. It takes place immediately following World War II, when high school machismo was alluring and pervasive. “Dave Hopes grants us entry into the wondrous, highly charged world of young male friendship once upon a time. The setting is lovely and nostalgic. I wanted to know all about it, and I even wished I could live there. But there is trouble underneath, and there are things that just cannot happen. Until they do. A pitch-perfect exploration of the terrors and pleasures of American adolescence.”—David Pratt. “From its first lines, The Falls of the Wyona deftly, surely immerses the reader in its turbulent, inevitable flow . . .  with lines of lyric, almost maternal gentleness, lines that make one close one’s eyes and dream of better times ahead.—Ryka Aoki. The author, David Brandan Hopes is a poet, playwright, and painter who is currently Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. His plays have been produced in New York, London, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago and Cincinnati.

Pasadena, California: Red Hen Press, 2019. 203 pages. Trade paperback.