Keith Baker, a cattle farmer in western North Carolina, lives a simple, but tiring rural life. The physical labor of the farm has comfortably become a refuge from emotional frustration, struggle, and sorrow. Upon his return to his hometown in Alabama, however, he is forced to reunite with old friends and foes and to revisit family stories that give him greater insight into the relationships of his present life. As the season of autumn passes, Keith, a man torn between several worlds, searches for justice, meaning, and understanding with the loved ones in his life and with his internal self. His journey not only leaves us wondering how individual acts affect future generations, but challenges us to acknowledge the true value of personal relationships and the vulnerability of existence.
Bradford C. Philen grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. After earning a double major – B.A. in English and Spanish – at Virginia Tech in 2002, Brad served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the village of Okamukwa, Namibia. In 2007 he earned his M.S. Ed. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Lehman College in the Bronx while teaching at the Marie Curie School for Medicine, Nursing, and Health Professions. Brad now makes his home with his wife Jasmeen in Dakar, Senegal, where he moved in the summer of 2008. While teaching high school English at the International School of Dakar, he is currently working on his second novel.