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The Other Shoe

A Novel

List Price: $16.95

March 13, 2012 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 320 Pages | ISBN 9781582437958
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"Haunting, beautifully observed." —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

The author of Our Savage returns with a harrowing novel about honesty, resilience and ruin in the Montana backcountry. The story opens with a sudden murder – Calvin Teague, a vagabond from Iowa, stumbles upon Henry Brusett’s wife and finds himself fatally smashed by a shovel. But the act of murder takes a backseat to the larger question of what murder means in a small town, and what murder means when the prime suspect refuses to speak. This is dark and compulsively readable, and Pavelich explores this crime from every angle. From the lead investigator who knows he doesn’t have enough evidence to convict Brusett, to the local diner waitress who knows everyone’s name but still calls them “Mister,” to the public defender who takes on the case in hopes to adding a “not guilty” to her shelf. Henry is a fiercely quiet, mysterious character, one simultaneously endearing and frightening, but neither villain nor hero. Like Ron Carlson’s The Signal or Gin Phillips’ The Well and the Mine, this is about back country laws and realizing that sometimes, the path to the truth and justice is entirely misleading.


MATT PAVELICH is the author of the novel Our Savage and the short story collection Beasts of the Forest, Beasts of the Field, which won the Montana First Book Award. Awarded Michener and Montana Arts Council fellowships, he lives in Montana.


“Haunting, beautifully observed.” —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Matt Pavelich is a native Montanan, he knows that world inside and out, and The Other Shoe is rich with details that convince, insights that amaze. His prose is among the most impressive now being written, elegant, nuanced, rough when needed, the high and low of language. The Other Shoe, is a brilliant novel of crime, love, and the American West, and it deserves a wide readership.” —Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone

“[A] literary study of the lives of outliers, a story of love, of sacrifice, of a man with a sense of responsibility as clear as the mountain air… an accomplished and affecting story of love and loyalty, accountability and honor.” —Kirkus

“With the publication of this wonderfully engaging novel—at once heartbreaking and comic—set in the darkest, dankest woods of northwestern Montana, Matt Pavelich affirms that his magisterial first novel, Our Savage, was no fluke. Once again, in perfectly chiseled (and irresistible) prose, he offers us a new vision of the American West, in which innocence is no bar to evil and good people search for expiation wherever it might be found. Matt Pavelich is that rare thing in American letters: a truly original voice.” —Rick Newby, editor of The New Montana Story: An Anthology

“Sometimes you know immediately where you are—a phrase by Charlie Parker, a Jackson Pollock seen across a room. That’s the way it is after a sentence or two of Matt Pavelich’s. The writing is nimble, mordant, witty, each of its many characters rendered with a generosity and insight that make them hard to forget. The Other Shoe is a remarkable achievement, the book those who’ve been following Matt Pavelich’s career have been waiting for. For the rest, here’s your chance to find out why.” —Ehud Havazelet, author of Bearing the Body

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