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review– LIAR’S MOON, Western Literature Association

I want to nominate Philip Kimball, a little-known Kansas-based writer of rare power and talent, whose Liar’s Moon: A Long Story is a grand and mythic story of the settling of Kansas during and after the Civil War, when former slaves, cattle drovers, immigrating farmers, and Indians came together in a complex swirl up and down the Great Plains. The action takes place from about 1852 to 1890 when Wounded Knee marked the subduing of the West. Kids falling off the wagon being raised by coyotes, white children being captured and adopted by Indians, Buffalo Bill recruiting cowboys, Indians, and adventurers to be part of his wild west show, politics, and, oh yes, the loss of innocence-this novel has it all. It is an original tall tale pieced together from folklore and history, a wonderfully entertaining fiction. His first novel, published in 1984, Harvesting Ballads, is actually the second book in his planned trilogy about the Great Plains, Liar’s Moon being the first.

-Theodore C. Humphrey, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona