Ohio University Press · Swallow Press ·

A Swallow Press Book

Secure the Shadow
A Novel

By Michael Henson

“With the soul and pen of a poet, Michael Henson writes from the fringes, asking us to stand in the shoes of society’s outsiders. I hope he never stops writing these books that matter so much, and I will never stop reading them.”

Amy Greene, author of Bloodroot and Long Man

“Michael Henson’s novel Secure the Shadow is a remarkable piece of storytelling. It is a mystery and a thriller, an ode to film photography, and a beautifully crafted evocation of life before cell phones and after the advent of crack cocaine. Secure the Shadow makes a poem of its urban setting and fills every brick, alley, and abandoned shopping cart with lyric meaning. Henson moves between his characters’ angles of vision with aplomb, and limns the world of the novel with the verve and grit of the best cinema verité.”

Robert Gipe, author of the Canard County trilogy of illustrated novels: Trampoline, Weedeater, and Pop

An interconnected web of lives in one midwestern city captures the surprising humanity of people searching for their authentic selves amid the 1990s drug crisis.

Amy Taylor finds the inner-city streets around her high school vibrant and animated compared to the bland middle-class neighborhood where she lives with her career-driven mother. In these streets, she meets the people of the city, among them a wayward boy named Jonathan, a struggling drug dealer, and Paul Lewis, a documentary photographer who becomes Amy’s mentor. Under his inspiration, she attempts to capture their world through the lens of her camera.

From the multiple perspectives of Amy and the expansive group of people she meets, award-winning novelist Michael Henson presents a heartbreaking portrait of the effects the Reagan-initiated drug war had on the young.

Michael Henson is the author of four books of fiction and four collections of poetry. His prize-winning collection of linked stories, Maggie Boylan (Swallow Press), has been called “an important work of art, beautifully rendered.” His stories, poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in Still: The Journal, Appalachian Heritage, and Threepenny Review.   More info →

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Retail price: $22.95, T.
Release date: November 2021
262 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights:  World

Release date: October 2021
262 pages
Rights:  World

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