By Alexi Zentner
Viking, July 9, 2019
All Jessup wants is to enjoy his senior year at Cortaca High and get a scholarship to attend college. It doesn't seem impossible. He's a standout varsity football player. A good student. He works at the local movie theater to help his mother make ends meet. But it's hard to live a normal life when everybody in town knows that your stepfather is a white supremacist--a white supremacist who was involved in a violent encounter with two young black college students. And who is about to be released from prison.
But his stepfather, David John, also saved Jessup's family from imploding, rescuing his mother and giving Jessup and his siblings a safe home for the first time. David John's release from prison sets off a chain of events that will forever define Jessup's entry into adulthood, dragging him into the swirling currents of irreconcilable ideologies, crushing loyalties, and unshakeable guilt.
“Rendered in sparse, impressionistic prose, Copperhead is an incredibly ambitious undertaking, even for a writer of Zentner’s prodigious gifts—not just another bold stylistic reinvention, but a deeply personal and unflinching interrogation of the battle between self and history from a writer who never shies from unnerving his readers or wrenching our sympathies or forcing us to reckon with the quotidian nature of society’s most horrific impulses in ways we would prefer never to imagine.”
—Téa Obreht, New York Times bestselling author of The Tiger’s Wife and Inland
About the Author
Alexi Zentner is the award-winning author of two previous novels, The Lobster Kings and Touch. His fiction has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, Glimmer Train, and The O. Henry Prize Stories 2008, among others. He lives with his family in Ithaca, New York.