Against the Grain: An Environmental Novel with a Mystical Twist
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“Against the Grain is satisfying as a thriller, as a poem to the environment, and as a love story. The richness of the characters’ relationships with the forest and trees is inspiring, and the plant kingdoms’ communications — and use of Sanskrit — was magical. In these family dynamics, politics is made personal, and finding purpose is a tool for healing. I couldn’t put the book down.” —Peter Ferko, author of The Genius of Yoga and Incarnation.
“The dramatic confrontations of 1990’s Redwood Summer surge to life in Lâle Davidson’s bracingly imagined eco-novel, which somehow manages, despite its heady pace, to educate the reader on why trees matter, how they grow, and what they do for us — if we dare to let them. Vivid with charismatic characters, steeped in environmental history and the conflicts that defined a difficult and bitter time, Against the Grain sticks with hope and takes the long view, not unlike the thousand-year-old towering giants at the heart of this rich yarn.” —Amy Godine, independent scholar; curator, Dreaming of Timbuctoo exhibition, John Brown Farm, North Elba, NY; long-time writer for Adirondack Life.
“Against the Grain combines gorgeous poetry and romance with heart-stopping action, as the daughter of a rich CEO joins forces with a logger’s son to stop a huge lumber company from destroying an ancient redwood forest. The trees themselves become surprisingly powerful characters in this rich, multilayered novel. After reading Against the Grain, you’ll never look at a tree in the same way again.” – Matt Witten, bestselling author of The Necklace
Two-thousand-year-old redwoods once cloaked the northern California coast like bear fur. As wide as a road and as tall as ten houses stacked on top of each other, they cast a spell on anyone willing to listen. As a boy, Logan Blackburn spent many nights on a platform two hundred feet off the ground in his favorite giant, Uuma, lulled to sleep by her strange murmuring and thrumming. Now only three percent of these ancient beings remain. Logan, now a young man, joins his father and other activists to stop logging companies from finishing them off. The fight gets violent, and when Logan’s father dies in the attempt, the spell is broken. Logan can no longer hear the trees.
To make matters worse, billionaire Atlas Jamison, who staged a hostile takeover of Pacific Lumber, is tripling the tree-felling rate. The largest and most ancient ones are being reduced to lawn furniture with heart-stopping speed.
Activists resort to ever more desperate measures to save both trees and planet, but Jamison seems unstoppable until his daughter Diana shows up, wanting to protect him from what she thinks is an unfair smear campaign.
Can Logan overcome his grief and rage to show this privileged and savvy woman how to hear the voices of the trees—and stop her father’s destruction? Is there more to Atlas Jamison than meets the eye?
Based on the true story of violent clashes in Northern California between corporate raiders, loggers, and activists during Redwood Summer 1990, Against the Grain is action-packed, transcendent, and timely. It asks, what it will take to wake humans up? Violence, love, or loss?
“I found the story enthralling. Lâle Davidson captures the moods and rhythms of a very special time and place.” —Author of Spy Rock Memories, publisher of Lookout magazine, and veteran of Redwood Summer
“Lale Davidson’s Against the Grain vividly illustrates the truth of that old North Coast adage: If trees could talk, nothing short of chainsaws could quiet them.” —Hank SimsEditor, Lost Coast Outpost
Strange Appetites is Available on Amazon and in Bookstores Now
The Audible version of Strange Appetites has finally been released! Read by yours truly and recorded by my husband, Charley Brown.
Startling, lyrical, and tender, Strange Appetites shines a light in magical and mystical way on our
conflicting urge for intimacy and transcendence i
Winner of the Adirondack Center for Writing’s People’s Choice Award.
A sister is discovered living inside her sister’s chest cavity, and after extraction, she wants to go back; a woman accidentally walks through walls and finds her newfound intimacy offends her friends. Romping the surreal landscape of internal reality, this mournful and droll collection of very short stories explores the yearning for intimacy and transcendence.
What People are Saying
“Enter this cabinet of wonders to find your mind and spirit expand. While the concerns and struggles are familiar — loneliness, troubled marriages, envy, hungers of various sorts —these fabulist tales shed fresh light, producing strange and tasty blooms.” —Ron MacLean, author of We Might as Well Light Something on Fire
“The places her metaphors take us are intimate and quiet—the damp space under stones, the mushrooms that grow in forests.” —Dana Diehl, The Collagist
Blue Woman Burning is Available on Amazon, Apple Books, and KOBO TODAY! and The Northshire Bookstore Now
On the altiplano between Chile and Bolivia, Fallon’s family witnesses their mother magically disappear. The inexplicable nature of their loss marks each family member in a different way. For Fallon it is the first step toward adulthood. For her brilliant and troubled older brother, it is an abandonment from which he never recovers. Thirteen years later, back in the United States, Fallon is about to conquer self-doubt and apply to medical school, when another mysterious event shatters her reality. The crisis catapults her across the country on a quest to find the truth. What she discovers changes everything.
Blurring boundaries between make-believe and fact, Blue Woman Burning, asks what is real, what is invented? How can we move forward if what passes for reality is only a matter of perception? This is a novel for our time, as the conflict between what we choose to believe and what is true plays out in modern American life.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:
“Lâle Davidson’s Blue Woman Burning is at once a road novel, a mystery, and a wise meditation on family and the way hurt begets hurt. As propulsive as its plot is, though, it’s Davidson’s wondrous, penetrating, eloquent prose that will stick with readers. This book is that rare thing: a page-turner that can and should be savored.” – Gabriel Blackwell, editor of The Collagist, and author of CORRECTION and editor of The Rupture
“Haunting and dreamlike, Blue Woman Burning takes us on an unforgettable journey through a broken family’s hidden past and one woman’s struggle to transcend it.” – Erika Schickel, author, The Big Hurt
“Blue Woman Burning is magical realism at its best. When Fallon’s mother vanishes in the desert one day, it sends her on a heartbreakingly beautiful quest to understand the mysteries of life, and of her own family. This is an inspiring coming of age story with a smash bang ending you won’t see coming.” – Matt Witten, television writer for House and bestselling author of The Necklace.
“Imagine a collaboration between Madeleine L’Engle and Carlos Casteneda and you’ll have some idea of Lale Davidson’s Blue Woman Burning. It’s a contemporary quest novel with mythic echoes, a mystery with lashings of the supernatural, a road-trip in search of family, romance, and magic. Enthralling!” – Steve Stern, award winning author of The Angel of Forgetfulness
“Skip the acid. For a rush of transmogrification, read this novel. Lale Davidson writes more authentically about crazy suffering than most anyone I’ve read. And she writes it with a voice so clean and astringent we have no trouble believing the unbelievable. Her voice is beautiful, no-nonsense, ferociously informed. Terrific.” –Bob Miner, author of Mother’s Day and Exes
“Davidson’s novel is firmly grounded in gritty reality and transformative magic. Her characters mesmerize, and the course of their lives makes us anxious to know what they’ll do next, what ordinary days and extraordinary circumstances will take us on rides to distant places, and to the solace and confusion of our own souls. This is one of those stories that you just don’t want to end. A rich and full journey, and a pleasure to read.” –B.A. Chepaitis, author of 11 books, most recently The Amber