The Big Moose Prize Winner



Publication Date: December 2015


During the month of June, Black Lawrence Press will donate $1 to The National Center for Lesbian Rights for every copy of Twister sold through our website. This offer is good for both hard copies and ebook versions of the novel.

By turns terrifying and humorous, clear-eyed and deep-hearted, Twister brings us into the center of a storm as a small Midwestern town mourns the death of a young soldier. Rose, the soldier’s fiercely independent mother, may or may not be losing her grip on reality, and we seek answers along with the constellation of family, friends, neighbors, and townspeople whose lives intertwine with hers. Each new viewpoint calls up singular memories and intrigue, raising stakes while the twister gathers force. As the storm drives into the heart of town secrets are illuminated, pasts are resurrected, and lives are shaken to the core. An unforgettable debut from a keen observer and chronicler of nature, people, and the ineffable.


“You will have to read this novel for yourself to see how a brilliant writer has found the perfect form for evoking the effects of time and place and the forces of history and nature on the lives of human beings. As the title suggests, the movement of Twister is as inexorable as it is unpredictable. Genanne Walsh is a writer of extraordinary powers. The work of this novel is both raw and lush with poetry. Her characters live and breathe, and in their intersections, real truths are revealed.”

-Laura Kasischke, author of Mind of Winter and Eden Springs

Genanne Walsh’s Twister is a chronicle of a small town amid the calm before the storm-but so much more. This book digs beneath the surface of place to create a kind of Spoon River Anthology for our time replete with secrets, truths, startling reckonings-and very, very threatening weather. As fine a new novel as you will read this year.”

-Peter Orner, author of Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge

Genanne Walsh’s Twister is a gripping page-turner, but also has that much rarer quality of transcendent, almost preternatural empathy that very few works of fiction possess. Twister has it. Novels often get us to walk in someone else’s shoes, but only rarely to climb into someone else’s skin. Walsh miraculously climbs into the skin of not just one, but a dozen characters. When I finished Twister, I felt the way the Old Man in the novel felt about being struck by lightning: ‘It furrowed me into something new.'”

-Robert Thomas, author of Bridge

About the Author

© Laura Duldner

Genanne Walsh

Genanne Walsh lives in San Francisco. Her debut novel, Twister, was awarded the Big Moose Prize and was a finalist for the 2016 Housatonic Book Award in Fiction. Excerpts have appeared in Puerto del Sol, Blackbird, and Red Earth Review. Her other work has appeared in Spry, BLOOM, Swink, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College.

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