The Dark Heart of Every Wild Thing
978-1-913007-07-2 · 272 pages · 129 × 198 mm · Sep. 2020
Deep in the mountains of British Columbia, across an unforgiving landscape, one man’s pursuit of a fabled mountain lion leads him into the furthest reaches of himself. As he struggles to confront the wilderness surrounding him—from the baying hounds to the relentless northern snows—he journeys into his own haunted memories: a life of wild horses and ballet, fishing skiffs and blizzards, tropical seas and dolphins. Through wind, snow, and the depths of grief, he asks what price he is willing to exact on a world that ravages what we love, and whether redemption awaits those who learn to forgive.
A tender story of love and a modern-day parable, The Dark Heart of Every Wild Thing, the debut novel from acclaimed poet Joseph Fasano, guides us into the deepest territories of the human heart.
* Exclusive paperback with French flaps.
Joseph Fasano is the author of four books of poetry. He was born in New York state’s Hudson River Valley and received degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University. His writing has appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, The Yale Review, and American Poets, among other publications.
Praise & Reviews
Fasano’s beautiful, harrowing novel occupies the space between desire and despair … Precise and evocative, this is an outstanding novel. — Publishers Weekly, starred review
A suspenseful, epic battle between man and pitiless nature … as profoundly psychological as it is intensely physical. — Kirkus Reviews
Joseph Fasano has the heart and the ear and he puts them to magnificent use in The Dark Heart of Every Wild Thing. By turns mournful and thrilling, this story, told in precise and glorious prose, traverses the wild heights of grief, vengeance, tenderness, and love. It pierces. — Sam Lipsyte
A father, a boy, and a mountain lion. If it sounds like the start of a parable, that’s because The Dark Heart of Every Wild Thing has wisdom to share. But that wisdom is complicated, surprising, and at times even vicious. What seems at first like a quiet book is actually quite fierce, not unlike the big cat at the center of its story. This elegiac novel is a moving meditation on grief, love, and obsession. — Erica Wright
Joseph Fasano is a wonderfully gifted writer. He writes evocatively, lyrically, and never fails to surprise us with his revelations and illuminations. His insights are deep, his delineation of character and place immensely satisfying. He gives us a story that keeps resonating long after we have finished reading. — Nicholas Christopher
[T]his deceptively simple story of loss and vengeance in the wilderness turned out to be an emotionally gritty … tale that coated its very real horrors in superb prose. — Gabino Iglesias, Locus
This is a journey in every sense of the word, but it’s also a book that made me savor the language … A gem. — Mary Tate
- Listen to Joseph read the opening chapter here
- Writers in Conversation – w/ Daniel Mason (Harvard Uni.)
- A short Q&A with Joseph on the genesis of the novel
- Start Write podcast – with Joy Rhoades
- Poet Kind Podcast — Joseph Fasano
- Joseph talks to Desperate Literature for their Cabin Fever series
- Rate or review the book on Goodreads