Alyson HagyInterviews/Reviews

Alyson Hagy’s Top 3 Reads of 2023 on


Modern West Podcast with Erin Jones and Melodie Edwards


The Eye 94 Radio Interview with Michael Sack, Jamie Trecker, and Jeremy Kitchen


The History of Literature Podcast with Jacke Wilson


So Many Books So Little Time Podcast with Jodi Wiley 10 Best Books of 2018


The Year in Reading with Hernan Diaz


The AdviceToWriters Interview with Jon Winokur


Bookmarks Best Reviewed Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2018


Entropy Magazine Best Fiction of 2018


Atlanta Journal-Constitution Review of ‘Scribe’–literature/storytelling-and-survival/slFtNj7iKjXbtnHufpIvjN/


ZYZZYVA Literary Magazine Review of ‘Scribe’


NW Book Lovers Interview with Shann Ray


NPR Best Books of 2018


FSG Work in Progress Favorite Books of the Year


The New York Times Review of ‘Scribe’


‘Scribe’ is NYTBR Editors’ Choice


The New Yorker Review of ‘Scribe’


The Drunken Odyssey Review of ‘Scribe’


The Roots & Reads Review of ‘Scribe’


Pop Matters Review of ‘Scribe’


New York Journal of Books Review of ‘Scribe’


Minneapolis Star Tribune Review of ‘Scribe’


‘Scribe’ Named Finalist for 2019 Southern Book Prize


The Gazette Review of ‘Scribe’


MPR News/The Thread Review of ‘Scribe’


The Run Spot Run Review of ‘Scribe’


The Caffeinated Reviewer on ‘Scribe’


The Prairie Bookworm Review of ‘Scribe’


‘Scribe’ is #1 IndieNext Pick for November/Indiebound Interview with Liz Button Review of ‘Scribe’


The Furious Gazelle Review of ‘Scribe’


‘Scribe’ is an Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance


Scribe’ is Indie Next Book Club Winter Reading Selection


‘Scribe’ is Belletrist October Book of the Month


The Millions Most Anticipated in October List


Excerpt from ‘Scribe’ featured on LitHub October 2018


The Millions Interview with Beth Kephart


Wyoming Public Media/Open Spaces Interview with Melodie Edwards September 2018


Arkansas International Review September 2018


BBC Culture/10 Books to Read in October


Vanity Fair Best Fall Fiction 2018


Wyoming Public Media/Spoken Words Podcast with Micah Schweizer September 2018

Booklist review of ‘Scribe’ (starred) August 2018

Hagy’s follow up to Boleto (2013) is set in a world ravaged first by civil war and then by fever. The survivors live off the land and the special skills they possess. The unnamed main character is sustained by her ability to write. She lives in her family’s farmhouse, kept company by a trio of mangy dogs and the memory of her dead sister. And then a man named Hendricks steps onto her land, asking her not only to write a letter for him, filled with the confessions of his misdeeds, but deliver it, as well. Reluctant to leave her home but in need of supplies, she agrees. It’s a decision that leads her into unexpected conflict with her neighbors, from a wandering group known as the Uninvited to the dangerous local kingpin, and forces her to confront her complicated emotions about her sister’s death. Taut and tense, with both a dreamlike quality and a strong sense of place, Hagy’s brief but powerful tale will indelibly haunt readers long after the final page is turned.

— Kristine Huntley

Kirkus review of ‘Scribe’ (starred) August 2018

In a world with few survivors and fewer rules, words become a lifeline. Set after a civil war and deadly fevers decimate the country, Hagy’s (Boleto, 2012, etc.) new novel is a slim and affecting powerhouse. The nameless main character is a scribe who lives alone in her family’s Appalachian farmhouse. Under the watchful eye of local overseer Billy Kingery and the Uninvited, a migrant group living on her land, she finds a way to exist in relative harmony with the people who worshiped her late sister but only tolerate her. In order to protect herself from her neighbors, she barters her gift of writing letters “on behalf of the guilty and possessed.” When a mysterious man named Hendricks asks her to write a letter for him, an unknowable (yet devastating) series of events is set in motion. As Hendricks and the narrator each fulfill their end of the bargain, the secrets they have been keeping from themselves and each other are unearthed. When the letter is completed, she must journey through the wild and dangerous terrain to a crossroads to deliver it. Hagy is a careful writer; each sentence feels as solid and sturdy as stone. The descriptions of nature are especially lush: “air-burned hints of lightning” and “the sunset was the color of persimmons.” Steeped in folklore, the mystical and unexplainable laces itself throughout the novel: Dreams bleed into reality; apparitions appear; time becomes malleable. Stories—whether written, oral, or biblical—are at the book’s center. In this post-apocalyptic world, the stories we tell about ourselves and others can be a matter of life or death. Timely and timeless; a deft novel about the consequences and resilience of storytelling.

Publisher’s Weekly review of ‘Scribe’ August 2018

Hagy (Boleto) probes the weight of responsibility and the desperation of survival in a deteriorating society in this evocative, opaque tale. The unnamed protagonist once wrote letters for the survivors of an unexplained war and collapse of civilization. In the new, mostly illiterate world, her letters held strange powers of persuasion and absolution. Now she hosts the Uninvited—a nomadic population that worships her deceased sister’s healing gifts—in the fields around her secluded home and remains mostly uninvolved in the local power squabbles. When Hendricks, a strange man who bears signs of a dark past, arrives to request a letter detailing his past sins, she squashes her natural suspicion of strangers and agrees to his request. Her work on this catalogue of misdeeds leads to a mesmeric blend of memory and hallucination that dredges up the protagonist’s guilt over her sister’s death and the desperate things she’s done to survive. Then, Hendricks seemingly accidentally kills an Univited child the protagonist dotes on, and the repercussions threaten to engulf her tenuous control over her land. Compelled by her hallucinations and attraction to Hendricks to fulfill her promise, the letter writer seeks permission from local enforcer Billy Kingery for safe passage to deliver Hendricks’s letter, and Billy’s sabotage leads to a violent, disturbing conclusion involving more slippage between reality and dreams. The vagueness of setting, supernatural elements, and only partially revealed histories amp up the eeriness of this disquieting novel.

Montana Public Radio Interview 2013
During this program, Wyoming author Alyson Hagy talks about and reads from her novel Boleto. She also tells the story behind the story, which involves a young man she met seven years before writing the book. Listen the full interview >

New York Times review of ‘Boleto’ 2012
With his graceful depictions of the embattled American West, Wallace Stegner remains unrivaled in his ability to humanize the clash between frontier beauty and “progress.” But there is always more gold in those hills, and Alyson Hagy isn’t a writer to mistake pyrite for something precious. In her third novel, “Boleto,” the alluring wilds of Wyoming and the horses wrangled there come with price tags affixed. The question is: Are we buying? Read the full review >

New Yorker review of ‘Boleto’ 2012
Hagy’s third novel is a chronicle of poor, small-town Wyoming ranches and resorts serving wealthy vacationing families, and provides an unsentimental portrait of modern-day cowboys. The cowboys try to swindle each other out of money and cars; their sole ally is their horse, which they’ll happily sell for a high enough offer. Read the full review >