For readers of Russell Banks and Richard Ford, a novel about loss, love, and redemption following a catastrophe in a small mining town.
In The Underworld, Kevin Canty tells a story inspired by the facts of a disastrous fire that took place in an isolated silver mining town in Idaho in the 1970s, in which almost everyone in town lost a friend, a lover, a brother, or a husband. The Underworld imagines the fates of a handful of fictional survivors and their loved ones—Jordan, a young widow with twin children; David, a college student trying to make a life for himself in another town; Lionel, a lifelong hard-rock miner—as they struggle to come to terms with the loss. It’s a tough, hard-working, hard-drinking town, a town of whores and priests and bar fights, but nobody’s tough enough to get through this undamaged. A powerful and unforgettable tale about small-town lives and the healing power of love in the midst of suffering.