Mix of “Lush Life” by Richard Price and “Winter’s Bone” by Daniel Woodrell – the novel reads like elevated Tana French
LONG BRIGHT RIVER
by Liz Moore
Riverhead, Autumn 2019
Set in contemporary Philadelphia, where the author has lived for close to nine years, the novel tells the story of two sisters: one is suffering from an addiction to heroin and opioids, has turned to sex work to fund her addiction, and has recently gone missing at the same time that a string of connected homicides is occurring in her neighborhood. The other is a police officer who is struggling as a single parent of a young child while simultaneously searching for her sister, both on and off the job. Liz Moore’s own family has a long, multigenerational struggle with addiction so this has been a topic of conversation in her life since she understood what addiction was. In 2009, a seed for this novel was planted not long after she moved to Philadelphia where she teamed up with a photographer making portraits of the residents of a Philly neighborhood that has been identified as a center of heroin and opioid use in the US. Liz’s interviews and writing about the people in this community has made an indelible mark on her which is evident in this powerful new novel.
Liz Moore is a writer of fiction and creative nonfiction. Her first novel, “The Words of Every Song” (Broadway Books, 2007), centers on a fictional record company in New York City just after the turn of the millennium. It draws partly on Liz’s own experiences as a musician. It was selected for Borders’ Original Voices program and was given a starred review by Kirkus. Roddy Doyle wrote of it, « This is a remarkable novel, elegant, wise, and beautifully constructed. I loved the book. » After the publication of her debut novel, Liz obtained her MFA in Fiction from Hunter College. In 2009, she was awarded the University of Pennsylvania’s ArtsEdge residency and moved to Philadelphia, where she still lives. She is now an Assistant Professor of Writing at Holy Family University. Her second novel, “Heft”, was published by W.W. Norton in January 2012 to popular and critical acclaim. After winning a 2014 Rome Prize in Literature, she spent 2014-15 at the American Academy in Rome, completing her third novel. That novel, “The Unseen World”, was published W.W. Norton in July 2016 and was named in a number of Best of 2016 picks including Publisher’s Weekly, The New Yorker and BBC’s 10 Best Books of 2016. Google Play did a feature of authors selecting their favorite reads of 2016, wherein Adrienne Celt picked it.