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This Town Sleeps

(2020)
A novel by

 
 
"Elegant and gritty, angry and funny. Staples's work is emotional without being sentimental. Dennis unmakes something in us, then remakes it, a quilt of characters that embody this town, this place, which sleeps but doesn't dream, or it is all a dream we want to wake up from with its characters." --Tommy Orange, author of There, There

On an Ojibwe reservation called Languille Lake, within the small town of Geshig at the hub of the rez, two men enter into a secret romance. Marion Lafournier, a midtwenties gay Ojibwe man, begins a relationship with his former classmate Shannon, a heavily closeted white man. While Marion is far more open about his sexuality, neither is immune to the realities of the lives of gay men in small towns and closed societies.

Then one night, while roaming the dark streets of Geshig, Marion unknowingly brings to life the spirit of a dog from beneath the elementary school playground. The mysterious revenant leads him to the grave of Kayden Kelliher, an Ojibwe basketball star who was murdered at the age of seventeen and whose presence still lingers in the memories of the townsfolk. While investigating the fallen hero's death, Marion discovers family connections and an old Ojibwe legend that may be the secret to unraveling the mystery he has found himself in.

Set on a reservation in far northern Minnesota, This Town Sleeps explores the many ways history, culture, landscape, and lineage shape our lives, our understanding of the world we inhabit, and the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of it all.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Dennis Staples’s novel dives into the dark and mysterious realms of love, sex, fear, history, and identity with intelligence and beauty. This Town Sleeps is a remarkable debut." - Ramona Ausubel

"Marked in its depths by an unflinching insight into what fills and depletes human hearts, This Town Sleeps leads you into desperate expanses then, surprise, turns skyward in shatteringly insightful moments that leave you breathless. Its tender creatures, lupine, yearning and failing, inhabited my mind for days. A heartbreaker that laughs through its pain, a gem. Dennis E. Staples is an important new voice. How lucky we are." - Marie-Helene Bertino

"With gentle wit, frank sensuality, and a keen eye for small town and reservation life, Dennis E. Staples debuts a tender, suspenseful, irresistible first novel!" - Louise Erdrich

"This novel is a town map, a crime map, a dream map of Geshig, Minnesota, its violent histories, its denials and desires. Marion Lafournier is a perfect tour guide because he knows everybody's secrets, and he sees clearly, even in the dark. Moody, a little noir, laced with the knife-blade humor only people who have been resisting genocide for five hundred years can pull off, and composed of riveting passages that refuse to look away, This Town Sleeps will haunt you with the beauty, despair, and hope of the characters whose lives it bears witness to. A rich and compelling debut." - Pam Houston

"Elegant and gritty, angry and funny. Staples’s work is emotional without being sentimental. Dennis unmakes something in us, then remakes it, a quilt of characters that embody this town, this place, which sleeps but doesn’t dream, or it is all a dream we want to wake up from with its characters." - Tommy Orange

"Dennis Staples’ This Town Sleeps is part mystery, part family saga, part meditation. In language subtle and precise, it explores the echoing past, both tenuous and inescapable, illuminating the resonant powers of one’s physical and cultural landscapes. It wisely asks how the place of our being shapes not only our futures, but also our personal mythologies, how we understand ourselves. How it guides what we are and are not capable of. Both intimate and sweeping, This Town Sleeps is the work of a powerful, emerging hand. Its voice is already wise and knows to look for answers both between bodies?in the dark shadows of entwining limbs?and back across the paths of those who came before us. It knows the two are never far apart. This is a marvel of a first book." - Derek Palacio

"This Town Sleeps is an utterly strange and compelling book. Magic and murder and a remote Indian reservation, written with deep feeling and dark humor. Staples is pushing the genre of Native American fiction into new areas. Read this book!" - David Treuer


Used availability for Dennis E Staples's This Town Sleeps

Hardback Editions

March 2020 : USA Hardback
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Title: This Town Sleeps: A Novel
Author(s): Dennis E Staples
ISBN: 1-64009-284-6 / 978-1-64009-284-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Counterpoint
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

March 2021 : USA Paperback
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Title: This Town Sleeps
Author(s): Dennis E Staples
ISBN: 1-64009-464-4 / 978-1-64009-464-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Counterpoint
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

March 2020 : USA Audio CD
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Title: This Town Sleeps: A Novel
Author(s): Dennis E Staples
ISBN: 1-68457-875-2 / 978-1-68457-875-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: HighBridge Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


March 2020 : USA Audio edition
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Title: This Town Sleeps: A Novel
Author(s): Dennis E Staples
Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon   


March 2020 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: This Town Sleeps: A Novel
Author(s): Dennis E Staples
Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

March 2020 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: This Town Sleeps: A Novel
Author(s): Dennis E Staples
Publisher: Counterpoint
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA