books.html
about.html
news.html
events.html
https://www.facebook.com/joshjweil
illustration.html
other_writing.html
home.html
excerptexcerpt_TNV.html
praisepraise_TNV.html
drawingsdrawings_TNV.html
book groupsbook_groups_TNV.html
back to bookthe_new_valley.html

INTERVIEWS and REVIEWS

for

THE NEW VALLEY

REVIEWS


“Weil meticulously imagines people and their histories, and presents them as a product of their places. This is perhaps the hardest thing for a fiction writer of any age, working in any form, to accomplish....Keep writing novellas, Josh Weil, because you write very good ones.”

    - The New York Times Sunday Book Review (Anthony Doerr, author of The Shell Collector).  Read the full review here.

    * Also an EDITOR’S CHOICE.



“In "The New Valley," Josh Weil's finely crafted collection of three linked novellas, readers go deep into the Virginia hill country, and deep into the hearts of men…Weil's prose is quiet and assured, and these stories are completely unforgettable….[They] are real heartbreakers, ringing true with loss and loneliness.”

    - The New Orleans Times-Picayune (Susan Larson).  Read the full review here.



“In these three beautiful novellas, the sky above and the soil below bear witness to stories so elemental and stunningly intricate that they seem carved from hickory. Weil carefully roots out these men from their hiding places, watching over his flock of lost souls with unbounded empathy.”

    - The Believer (Don Waters).  Read the full review here.


"Weil's debut is a stark and haunting triptych of novellas...Taken individually, each novella offers its own tragic pleasures, but together, the works create a deeply human landscape that delivers great beauty." 

    - Publisher’s Weekly *starred review*.  Read the full review here.



“A restive nobility binds the sorrowful protagonists of Weil’s stellar debut collection of novellas, each a tender anthem to a starkly unforgiving Virginia countryside and the misguided determination of its most forsaken residents….Throughout, Weil limns a rugged emotional landscape every bit as raw and desolate as the land that inspired it, delivering an eloquent portrait of people who defiantly cling to a fierce independence.”

    - Booklist (Carol Haggas).  Read the full review here.



“Critics claiming that American short fiction is on life-support should sample the healing elixir of Josh Weil's breakout collection. In this mesmerizing debut, Weil offers up three razor-sharp novellas set in the hills of the West Virginia-Virginia border....The plot lines are simple, and there lies the beauty. These are quiet stories of struggle, survival, heartbreak and grace. And in these stories, readers will be reminded of neighbors, friends and maybe themselves....Readers will find glimpses of Bobbie Ann Mason's depictions of the small-town poor mixed with Annie Proulx's evocative landscape language....Much like the characters in "The New Valley," not only is the writing understated, it's also as strong as steel.”

    -  The Charleston Sunday Gazette (Cody Corliss).  Read the full review here.



“Weil’s major talent—and it is major—lies in making the gears and levers of the book operate seamlessly, like the engines and equipment that litter its pages....[His] keen observational eye brings the smallest details of the lives of these three men to light, and their acuity makes his other analyses gleam with truth....Weil himself makes the reader all too aware of their humanity, and their emotions and heartbreak give this book a quiet heaviness, like the Blue Ridge Mountains that loom in the background.”

    - The Rumpus (James Scott).  Read the full review here.



“Josh Weil drew me into The New Valley from the get-go. His language is exquisite, his sentences glorious. In fact, Weil writes the kind of sentences you want to sniff and then slosh around in your mouth for a while before heading into the next paragraph. The kind that make you set the book down and think, the kind that can break your heart…Although Ridge Weather, Stillman Wing, and Sarverville Remains stand as three separate, distinct novellas—a refreshing and engaging form under Weil’s guidance—they have an underlying unity to them. Each examines how men recover from loss in a “place where people knew how to keep apart.”

     - Ploughshares (Sherrie Flick).  Read the full review here.



"Intense and satisfying; highly recommended”

    - Library Journal (Donna Bettencourt).  Read the full review here.



“Since hearing Josh Weil read from his trio of linked novellas The New Valley in Austin this past July, I've savored the book's beautiful prose...Its surprising and dead-on dialogue and spare language...Even on the second reading I've pressed the sweatshirted crook of one elbow then the other to my eyes only to finally give up and reach for the Kleenex box. Also: the jokes still catch.  This writer, he's the real deal. He stirs something deep...[The New Valley is] damn fine storytelling, the kind that isn’t concerned with perfection but rather the pursuit of slow, gentle, haunting grace, grace that turns the world around until it is new, until it hurts us again as only grace can.”

    - The Collagist (Stacy Muszynski).  Read the full review here.



“Weil is the real deal. He negotiates [the] perilous territory [of the novella form] with skill and grace.  This is a rough country, and the landscape here is presented with much of its rawness intact. Indeed, the land haunts these novellas.  I’m at the back of a long line of reviewers praising Weil, sure, but it’s a line I’ll gladly stand in.”

    - The Weather Outside (Pauls Toutonghi).  Read the full review here.



“What Weil has done with his three novellas is complete a total piece in which the place is the main character....Weil has created an entire world for the reader in which she can imagine others living out their own dramas.  The place, though, somehow maintains its strength in the background; Weil’s characters carry the weight of the stories and propel the reader through the book, both racing to the finish and wishing it would never end...Individually or together the novellas represent an impressive debut. Separately the stories stand alone and are powerful in their own right. Together their power resonates in the feeling of a place Weil has created and the sense of solitude and desperation that all his characters must struggle with.”

    - Vernacular (Lalan).  Read the full review here.


“Weil recently was named on of the “top five under thirty-five” by the National Book Foundation, and if any of the other four have written books nearly as good, American Letters is in good hands….The New Valley is an exceptional book….[The novella] is an art form, every bit as valid as the short story, that for reasons of economy seems to be at risk of extinction. More power, then, to Josh Weil who makes his debut with this collection, earning him comparisons in my mind to Jim Harrison and John Casey, as well as to that champion of the hopeless, George Saunders.”

    - The Daily Sabbatical (Robert J. Howell).  Read the full review here.



INTERVIEWS


Paper Cuts, the new york times books blog: “Stray Questions for Josh Weil”


Maryland Morning.  Sheila Kast of WYPR Baltimore interviews Josh: listen to the interview (begins 1/3 through).


Aielli Unleashed.  John Aielli of KUT Austin interviews Josh: listen to the unedited interview.


WVTF.  Southwestern Virginia’s main NPR station interviews Josh: listen to the interview.


Andrew’s Book Club.  Mini-Interview: read the interview.


Books, Chocolate, Sundries blog.  The author Margo Rabb interviews Josh: read the interview.


Eric Forbes’s Book Addict’s Guide to Good Books: “On the Couch...Josh Weil”


Publisher’s Weekly.  Spotlight Interview.  Click to read.     


Newtonville Books. Blog interview.  Click to read.


WriterHouse. The Charlottesville, VA, organization post audio of a reading and Q&A.  Click to listen.


The New River Voice. The online magazine interviews Josh.   Click to read.