"A masterpiece." - R.O. Kwon
"A grand, unforgettable tale." - Esmé Weijun Wang
"Reader, you are in for a real treat." - Jenny Zhang
The Crucible meets True Grit in this riveting adventure story of a fugitive girl, a mysterious gang of robbers, and their dangerous mission to transform the Wild West.
In the year of our Lord 1894, I became an outlaw.
The day of her wedding, 17 year old Ada's life looks good; she loves her husband, and she loves working as an apprentice to her mother, a respected midwife. But after a year of marriage and no pregnancy, in a town where barren women are routinely hanged as witches, her survival depends on leaving behind everything she knows.
She joins up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang, a band of outlaws led by a preacher-turned-robber known to all as the Kid. Charismatic, grandiose, and mercurial, the Kid is determined to create a safe haven for outcast women. But to make this dream a reality, the Gang hatches a treacherous plan that may get them all killed. And Ada must decide whether she's willing to risk her life for the possibility of a new kind of future for them all.
Featuring an irresistibly no-nonsense, courageous, and determined heroine, Outlawed dusts off the myth of the old West and reignites the glimmering promise of the frontier with an entirely new set of feminist stakes. Anna North has crafted a pulse-racing, page-turning saga about the search for hope in the wake of death, and for truth in a climate of small-mindedness and fear.
About the Author
Anna North is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the author of two previous novels, America Pacifica and The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, which received a Lambda Literary Award in 2016. She has been a writer and editor at Jezebel, BuzzFeed, Salon, and the New York Times, and she is now a senior reporter at Vox. She grew up in Los Angeles and lives in Brooklyn.
“North’s knockout latest chronicles the travails of a midwife’s daughter who joins a group of female and nonbinary outlaws near the end of the 19th century . . . The characters’ struggles for gender nonconformity and LGBTQ rights are tenderly and beautifully conveyed. This feminist western parable is impossible to put down." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Earns its place in the growing canon of fiction that subverts the Western genre by giving voice to the true complexity of gender and sexual expression, as well as race relations, that has previously been pushed to the margins of traditional cowboy or westward expansion tales. A genre- (and gender-) bending take on the classic Western.” —Kirkus
“Anna North has written a captivating Western unlike any other, with unique rhythms, dusty lands, and characters like new friends brought in on high winds. A grand, unforgettable tale.” —Esmé Weijun Wang, author of THE COLLECTED SCHIZOPHRENIAS
“I'm dazzled by this feminist Western about a world in which women's worth and right to live are determined by the vagaries of fertility. Set in an alternate past, one all too similar to our today, Outlawed is terrifying, wise, tender, and thrilling. A masterpiece.” —R.O. Kwon, author of THE INCENDIARIES
“Outlawed flips the script on the beloved Western genre and gives us the iconic heroine-on-the-run we deserve. Anna North is a riveting storyteller . . . Reader, you are in for a real treat.” —Jenny Zhang, author of SOUR HEART
“A moving and invigorating complication of the Western, highlighting chosen family, love, and survival among outcasts in another American timeline. As she mines the genre for vital new stories, North beautifully shines a light on our real past and conveys a warning for the future.” —Lydia Kiesling, author of THE GOLDEN STATE
“Fans of Margaret Atwood and Cormac McCarthy finally get the Western they deserve in Outlawed, but Anna North doesn't just reimagine a damsel-in-distress as her own savior. She plays with the promise and danger of the frontier, introducing us to an America we never knew-and one we know all too well.” —Alexis Coe, New York Times bestselling author of YOU NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST and ALICE+FREDA FOREVER
“I read The Life and Death of Sophie Stark with my heart in my mouth. Not only a dissection of genius and the havoc it can wreak, but also a thunderously good story.” —Emma Donoghue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of ROOM
“Anna North is a natural, butter-smooth storyteller, and The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is an elegant, kaleidoscopic look at a challenging artist and at the way our lives are, in some respects, only silhouettes made from the perceptions of those who know us.” —Maggie Shipstead, author of SEATING ARRANGEMENTS
“North is a smart writer as well as a deeply humane one, and The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is a bold and graceful novel, executed with incredible artistry.” —NPR.org
“Provocative . . . North's prose is as skillful as her [filmmaker] protagonist's shot list.” —New York Times Book Review, on THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SOPHIE STARK
“North's writing is assured and engrossing ... An engaging exploration of what it takes to make art and, more importantly, what it takes to love those who make it.” —Kirkus Reviews, on THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SOPHIE STARK