Anna Keesey's debut vel hums with raw energy: its youthful heroine's, the small town around which the ranches lie, and the new century that's just unfolding....Exhilarating. The Boston Globe In the tradition of such Western classics as My Antonia and There Will Be Blood, Anna Keesey's Little Century is a resonant and moving debut vel by a writer of confident gifts.Orphaned after the death of her mother, eighteen-year-old Esther Chambers heads west in search of her only living relative. In the lawless town of Century, Oregon, she's met by her distant cousin a cattle rancher named Ferris Pickett. There, she begins a new life as a homesteader, in the hope that her land will one day join Pick's impressive spread.But Century is in the midst of an escalating and violent war over water and rangeland. As incidents between the sheep and cattle ranchers turn to bloodshed, Esther's sympathies are divided between her cousin and a sheepherder named Ben Cruff, sworn enemy of the cattlemen. Torn between her growing passion for Ben and her love of the austere land, she begins to realize that she can't be loyal to both.
Anna Keesey is a graduate of Stanford University and of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship and has held residencies at MacDowell, Bread Loaf, Yaddo, and Provincetown. Keesey teaches English and creative writing at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon.