Shadowlands is proving to be a rich work of recent American history in the West. The Malheur Reservation, located in the Great Basin region of Oregon, was occupied by a group of militia men lead by Ammon Bundy in 2016. Oh boy, is this ever a narratively tricky series of events and perspectives to tell! I am struck by McCann’s immense skill as a storyteller of this strange and complex American tale. I appreciate how sensitive McCann is to the wonder of the occupation itself and the series of remarkable moments that lead up to it. Told with nuance and generosity, he approaches questions surrounding land entitlement or constitutional law, for example, with such care. Reading this book is an enriching experience; I feel that I am taking in many sides of the issues raised in Shadowlands all at once. I am learning quite a bit about the occupiers’ beliefs, regional lore, American history, and more as I go!
–Elise, Browsers Bookshop, Olympia, WA