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Jaws of Life

In the hills of north central West Virginia, there lives a cast of ​characters who face all manner of problems. From the people who are incarcerated in West Virginia's prisons, to a woman who is learning how to lose her sight with grace, to another who sorely regrets selling her land to a fracking company, Jaws of Life portrays the diverse concerns the people of this region face every day -- poverty, mental illness, drug abuse, the loss of the coal mines, and the rise of new extractive industries that exert their own toll.

While these larger concerns exist on the edges of their realities, these characters must still deal with quotidian difficulties: how to coexist with ex-spouses, how to care for sick family members, and how to live with friends who always seem to have more.

Jaws of Life (West Virginia University Press) was released in February 2018.

Praise for Jaws of Life

"Laura Leigh Morris proves to us that stories are, indeed, everywhere. She tells them with the sharp eye and wit of a master storyteller. Superb."

                         - Larry Heinemann, winner of the National Book

                            Award for Paco's Story

"'Look for something no one else sees,' says one character in this fine debut, in which the people of Brickton lose many things -- loved ones, their tempers, a good night's sleep, five years of freedom -- but never their power."

                         - Joni Tevis, author of The World Is on Fire

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