The award-winning author Ansay re-creates a stifling world of guilt and pain in a stark, troubling, yet ultimately triumphant celebration of self-determination, and the tormented souls who inhabit it in her first novel “Vinegar Hill”.
Ansay’s “Vinegar Hill” established the writer as a novelist who could tell a difficult story with great grace.
The book is about Ellen Grier and her family who move back to Holly’s Field in Wisconsin in 1972.
Dutifully accompanying her newly unemployed husband, Ellen has brought her two children into the home of her in-laws on Vinegar Hill, a loveless house suffused with the settling dust of bitterness and routine, where calculated cruelty is a way of life.
Behind a facade of false piety, there are sins and secrets in this place that could crush a vibrant young woman’s passionate spirit.
And here Ellen must find the strength to endure, change and grow in the all-pervading darkness that threatens to destroy everything she is and everyone she loves.
Ansay grew up in Wisconsin among 67 cousins and over 200-second cousins.
She is the author of six novels, including “Good Things I Wish You”, “Read This and Tell Me What It Says” and “Limbo”.
Her awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, a Pushcart Prize, the Nelson Algren Prize and two Great Lakes Book Awards.