Haunting and lyrical, The Bobcat is Katherine Forbes Riley’s magical debut novel in which Laurelie, a young art student who suffers in the aftermath of a sexual assault, has grown progressively more isolated and fearful. She transfers from her busy city university to a small college in rural Vermont, where she retreats into her vivid imagination, experiencing the world through her art. Most comfortable in the company of the child for whom she babysits, and most at ease in the woods, Laurelie has shunned any connection with her peers.
One day, while exploring the woods, she and her young charge encounter an injured pregnant bobcat – and the hiker who has been following it for hundreds of miles. In the hiker and his feline companion Laurelie recognizes someone as reclusive and wary as herself. The hiker, too, finds human companionship painful to endure, yet he is drawn to wounded Laurelie the way he is drawn to the bobcat. As Laurelie moves toward recovery and reconnection she also finds her voice as an artist, and a sense of purpose, maybe even a future, comes into sight. Then the child goes missing in the woods, threatening the bobcat, the hiker, and the fragile peace Laurelie has constructed.
With the hypnotic intensity of Emily Fridlund’s The History of Wolves and Fiona McFarlane’s The Night Guest, Riley has created a mesmerizing love story, in lush, gorgeous prose, that examines art, science, and the magic of human chemistry.
Katherine Forbes Riley is a writer and computational linguist in Vermont. Katherine's writing appears in the Wigleaf 2018 top 50 list, as well as HCE Review, Ginosko, Gone Lawn, Blue Monday Review, decomP, Fiction Southeast, Noö, Spartan, Jellyfish Review, Conium, James Franco Review, Mulberry Fork, Paper Nautilus, Halfway Down The Stairs, Crack the Spine, Storyscape, Whiskey Island, Lunch Ticket, Eunoia, Literary Orphans, Eclectica, BlazeVOX, McNeese Review, Akashic Books, and Buffalo Almanack, from whom she received the Inkslinger’s Award for Creative Excellence. She finished her magical debut, The Bobcat , during the 2016-17 academic year, while a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome. She lives near Dartmouth College, in Norwich, VT.
Migrating from the suburban anonymity of 1950s San Bernardino, to the frozen end of the world (Alaska circa 1976), and concluding in the background of one of the most horrifying moments in American history, The Patricide of George Benjamin Hill spans seventy years of life in America, from the Great Depression to the age of corporate greed and terrorism. It is a literary suspense novel about the decline and consequence of patriarchal society. It is also an intricate family saga of aspiration and betrayal.
James Charlesworth is a recipient of the Martin Dibner Fellowship from the Maine Community Foundation and an MFA from Emerson College. He is at work on his second book.
** Longlisted for The Center for Fiction's best debut novel of 2019 **
With the hypnotic intensity of Emily Fridlund’s The History of Wolves and Fiona McFarlane’s The Night Guest, Katherine Forbes Riley has created a mesmerizing love story, in lush, gorgeous prose, that examines art, science, and the magic of human chemistry.
One of Pop Sugar’s “10 BOOKS BY DEBUT AUTHORS TO WATCH.” From a powerful new literary voice, a sweeping epic of one family and the destructive power of the American Dream.