“Sometimes lyrical, sometimes scarifying stories. . . . Within that setting of crags, foreboding forests, and onrushing creeks, Null finds poetry and moments that can sometimes bear something like grace.”
—Kirkus (starred review)
History is a living and inescapable presence in the panoramic stories of Allegheny Front, where Matthew Neill Null brings his homeland of rural West Virginia vividly to life. In Null’s telescopic narration, human and animal populations exist in precarious balance with a landscape ravaged by resource exploitation and failed enterprise. Bears propagate in abandoned strip mines and forage in town dumpsters to the delight of camera-toting locals; a bald eagle torments a hunter after he kills her mate; an ambitious young scientist is forced to reckon with her past and present loyalties when a local man and his daughter interrupt her field research. With haunting lyricism, lush detail, and a keen ear for dialogue, Null creates a world simultaneously intimate and epic in scope.