Very keen to confirm reports of my rrrraving about C Pam Zhang’s How Much of These Hills is Gold – an absolute favourite from May’s literary fiction releases.
It’s a novel exactly like the tigers that prowl the story’s edges – ferocious, gleam-eyed, fearsome-beautiful. Roaming desolate prairie hills with a stolen horse, Lucy and Sam carry their father’s body on their backs, searching for a place to bury him right; finding out the kinds of ghosts that both a landscape and person might carry with them.
Zhang’s writing has the graceful weight of poetry and the litheness of a wild creature. Her re-rendering of the mythologised Wild West is atmospheric and revolutionary; she re-inscribes the cowboy-archetype’s stranglehold on history with nuance in terms of race, gender and identity. Lucy and Sam’s relationship to these things, and to each other is a complex interlacing (one could say, perhaps, a tiger-striping?!) of love, grief and woundedness that I found completely compelling.
Wonderful book! Big teeth. Could easily tear chunks right out of you.
By Sylvia Bozym, Roaring bookseller
Find How Much of These Hills is Gold at Roaring Stories Bookshop.