Madeline ffitch will visit Eagle Harbor Book Company at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27 to discuss her debut novel “Stay and Fight.”
Praised by the likes of The Oprah Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, the book has been called “romantic, albeit brutally raw” and “delightfully raucous.”
Helen arrives in Appalachian Ohio full of love and her boyfriend’s ideas for living off the land. Too soon, with winter coming, he calls it quits. Helped by Rudy — her government-questioning, wisdom-spouting, seasonal-affective-disordered boss — and a neighbor couple, Helen makes it to spring.
Those neighbors, Karen and Lily, are awaiting the arrival of their first child, a boy, which means their time at the Women’s Land Trust must end. So Helen invites the new family to throw in with her — they’ll split the work and the food, build a house, and make a life that sustains them, if barely, for years.
Then young Perley decides he wants to go to school. And Rudy sets up a fruit-tree nursery on the pipeline easement edging their land. The outside world is brought clamoring into their makeshift family.
Set in a region known for its independent spirit, “Stay and Fight” shakes up what it means to be a family, to live well, to make peace with nature and make deals with the system.
It is a protest novel that challenges common notions of effective action. It is a family novel that refuses to limit the term. And it is “a marvel of storytelling that both breaks with tradition and celebrates it.”
The author previously co-ofounded the punk theater company Missoula Oblongata and is part of the direct-action collective Appalachia Resist! Her writing has appeared in Tin House, Guernica, Granta, VICE, and Electric Literature, among other publications.
She previously released the story collection “Valparaiso Round the Horn.”