When Catherine Tudish's story collection Tenney's Landing was published in 2005, Margot Livesey said Tudish "casts an irresistible spell" and David Huddle said, "Tenney's Landing conjures up a place and a people with that magical vividness we found in Porter, Welty, Cheever, and Updike." Here, in her first novel, Tudish has fashioned a masterful and intimate portrait of a woman returning, midlife, to the small farming community where she grew up.
After Nathan Rownd is injured in a tractor accident, his daughter, Virginia, leaves her suburban life and returns to Tenney's Landing with her teenage son to work the family farm. She struggles with the long periods of separation from her husband and begrudgingly relearns the insistent, exhausting cadence of farm chores. But when Nathan decides to sell the farm, Virginia realizes how deep her connection to the land is and begins to question who she is and where she belongs. Catherine Tudish's writing is a tribute to small-town America. In simple, elegant prose she captures the rhythms of everyday life and the moments of truth and transformation that are found there. American Cream is a tender and wise novel by a writer of unusual sensitivity and grace.
Catherine Tudish is the author of the acclaimed short story collection Tenney's Landing. Tudish taught writing and literature at Harvard for eight years before moving to Vermont to work as a journalist and fiction writer. She now teaches at the Bread Loaf School of English and Dartmouth College.
"In the tradition of Wallace Stegner, Thornton Wilder, and Kent Haruf, Catherine Tudish explores small-town and rural life in America with clear-eyed honesty, loving care, and great wisdom. American Cream is the story of Virginia Rownd, a remarkable woman who, in midlife, returns to her hometown in western Pennsylvania. Virginia discovers, as we all must, that 'one person can't live two lives.' Written with quiet elegance, American Cream is a masterful novel, alive with fine characters, surprising scenes, and insightful observations that come only with deep life experience and deep compassion for one's fellow men and women." -- Howard Frank Mosher, author of On Kingdom Mountain and Disappearances