Oklahoma is a forgotten territory of "Indians, outlaws, and immigrants" when its first Jewish settler, Boggy Haurowitz, arrives in 1859. Full of expectations, he finds the untamed region a formidable foe, its landscape rugged, its resources strained.
In Stations West, four generations of Haurowitzes, intertwined with a family of Swedish immigrants, struggle against the Territory's "insatiable appetite." The challenges of creating a home amid betrayals, nature's vagaries, and burgeoning statehood prove too great. Each generation in turn succumbs to the overwhelming lure of the transcontinental railroad, and each returns home to find the landscape of their youth, like themselves, changed beyond recognition, their family utterly transformed.
Dramatic and lyrical, Allison Amend's first novel, steeped in the history and lore of the Oklahoma Territory, tells an unforgettable multigenerational -- and very American -- story of Jewish pioneers, their adopted family, and the challenges they face. Amid the founding of the West, Stations West's generations struggle to forge and maintain their identities as Jews, as immigrants, and as Americans.
Praise for Stations West
"...every page is a delight. Surprises await the reader at every turn..."
"Allison Amend's Stations West is a wonder: a super-readable, super-smart debut novel that comes just when we need it most. It's the most vigorous, passionate, and enjoyable foray into America I've read in a long time--told in a voice caught up with the extraordinary act of recounting the whole story. You won't forget it."
—Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng
"Stations West is truly an American epic. It is the story of immigrants and natives, of the evolution of the land, of culture and of people, of attitudes and lifestyles, of belief, of family, of America itself. I know of no other piece of literature like it. Written in a style as starkly beautiful as the landscape of the Oklahoma territory it describes, Amend's prose is unflinching and unsentimental; it takes on difficult truths with wide-open eyes. I'm quite awed by the novel's tremendous reach and its generosity." —Thisbe Nissen, author of Out of the Girls' Room and into the Night
"Allison Amend possesses the rare gift of being able to fully transport her readers to an uncharted land. Her version of nascent Oklahoma reshapes the mythology of the Old West, telling an enthralling family story that reveals the role of Jews in shaping the American frontier."
—Hannah Tinti, author of Animal Crackers and The Good Thief
"There are no other books like Stations West. It speaks to something new, a kind of Jewish Angle of Repose . . . Stegner mixed with Singer. It struck me throughout as beautifully written and this alone makes a serious contribution to literature. But novels should also plow new ground and this story certainly does this. Boggy and Moshe and Alice and Garfield are real to me--living and enduring a landscape that is as familiar to them as it is to anybody else out there. And this I appreciate."
—Peter Orner, author of Esther Stories
"What a lovely book. Allison Amend has just the right touch, and her people are alive on the page."
—Richard Bausch, author of These Extremes