A Swallow Press Book

Maggie Boylan

By Michael Henson

“Trouble—much of it self-inflicted—follows Maggie Boylan, the unconventional hero of this powerful novel from Henson (Ransack). Maggie is ‘straight as a bullet, foul-mouthed, skinny, death-head-looking, Oxy-addled, thieving’—a folk hero for the fentanyl-ravaged heartland.…Despite its short length, Henson’s novel packs a punch: it’s harrowing, haunted, and often beautiful.”

Publishers Weekly

“Michael Henson is one of the finest authors of literary fiction writing today. His Maggie Boylan stories give voice to those among us who are seldom heard. Maggie Boylan is an important work of art, beautifully rendered.”

Amy Greene, author of Long Man and Bloodroot

“Henson gets to the heart of working class and underclass people in ways that break your heart and then put it together again through the power of his art.”

Gurney Norman, author of Divine Right’s Trip and Kinfolks

“A devastating short fiction collection about the incestuous relationship between local law enforcement and drug dealers as well as the clients they both share—hapless and resourceful addicts, of which Maggie is queen. Henson’s collection is easily the best fictional account of the widespread meth and Oxy wreckage in Appalachia since Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone.”

Kate Flaherty, Ploughshares

Set in Appalachian Ohio amid an epidemic of prescription opiate abuse, Michael Henson’s linked collection tells of a woman’s search for her own peculiar kind of redemption, and brings the novel-in-stories form to new heights. Maggie Boylan is an addict, thief, liar, and hustler. But she is also a woman of deep compassion and resilience. The stories follow Maggie as she spirals through her addictive process, through the court system and treatment, and into a shaky new beginning.

In these masterful stories, we rarely occupy Maggie’s perspective, but instead gain a multilayered portrait of a community as we see other people’s lives bump up against hers—and we witness her inserting herself into their spheres, refusing to be rebuffed. The result is a prismatic view of a community fighting to stay upright against the headwinds of a drug epidemic: always on edge, always human.


Michael Henson is author of four books of fiction and four collections of poetry and has worked as an addiction counselor and community organizer. His work has been published in Still: The Journal, Appalachian Heritage, and many other periodicals. He is a coeditor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the annual publication of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative.

Order a print copy

Paperback · $15.16 · Add to Cart

Retail price: $18.95 · Save 20% ($15.16)

Hardcover · $23.96 · Add to Cart

Retail price: $29.95 · Save 20% ($23.96)

Find at a local bookstore

IndieBound

Download an electronic copy

Amazon Kindle Store Barnes & Noble NOOK Google Play iBooks Store

Availability and price vary according to vendor.

Share    Facebook icon  Email icon

Requests

Desk Copy Examination Copy Review Copy

Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center

Downloads & Links

External Links

Picture

PDFs

Related Subjects

Fiction · Appalachia

Formats

Paperback

978-0-8040-1202-7
Retail price: $18.95, T.
Release date: Mar. 2018
152 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights: World

Hardcover

978-0-8040-1201-0
Retail price: $29.95, S.
Release date: Mar. 2018
152 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights: World

Electronic

978-0-8040-4091-4
Release date: Mar. 2018
≅ 152 pages
Rights: World

Additional Praise for Maggie Boylan

Praise for Michael Henson’s A Small Room with Trouble on My Mind:
“Michael Henson is the Philip Levine of the urban Appalachian working class. His writing is so immediate that you feel the vibrations of guitar strings and sirens, smell beer and sweat, and hear broken glass crunch under your feet. Nothing is pretty in this world, but much is beautiful, seen through Henson’s compassion for his characters and his clarity about generations wrecked by capitalism without conscience.”

George Ella Lyon, 2015–2016 poet laureate of Kentucky

“Every now and again I happen upon a writer who slays me. A writer whose stories resonate with truths so raw, they leave me aching for the characters and the community they inhabit. Michael Henson’s Maggie Boylan is such a book. Henson is a master along the lines of William Gay. Maggie will haunt you.”

Karen Spears Zacharias, author of Mother of Rain