- Paperback: 320 pages
- Published: 8/25/15
- IBSN: 9781617753541
- e-IBSN: 9781617753626
- IBSN: 9781617753534
- Genre: Fiction
In Revoyr’s most thrilling novel to date, four backpackers embark on a trip in the Sierra Nevada that quickly becomes a disaster.
A finalist for the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Award for Adult Fiction!
One of the San Francisco Chronicle‘s 100 Recommended Books of 2015
“Los Angeles is home to many great storytellers, but Nina Revoyr is one of its finest scribes. . . . [Lost Canyon] pulses with both beauty and terror, and the struggles of these characters, their physical and mental reckonings, are enough to make readers sweat without getting off the couch.”
—Los Angeles Times
“What makes this latest from Revoyr (The Age of Dreaming) more than a suspenseful tale of survival and personal growth is the slowly worked out differences of race and class, well articulated throughout. . . . An absorbing read with good social context.”
“Revoyr [is] an edgy and spellbinding writer with an uncanny gift for aligning human struggles with nature’s glory and perils . . . . With ravishing descriptions of the magnificent landscape, unrelenting suspense, incisive psychology, and shrewd perspectives on matters of race and gender, Revoyr has created a gripping tale of unintended adventure and profound transformation.”
—Booklist, Starred review
“A suspenseful adventure story that explores how people react to danger, uncertainty, fear, and life-or-death choices . . . . This is an exciting, page-turning adventure story that reveals how good people can do things totally contrary to their own moral code, and the conclusion will both surprise and satisfy.”
“Revoyr travels LA’s patchwork neighborhoods—delineating gangs and money, color and prejudice—and nicely sketches ‘the grand, untamed Sierra.’ Like Deliverance, a tense . . . morality tale formed in the crucible of physical duress.”
“With a nod to James Dickey’s Deliverance . . . A direct, bangin’ read for those interested in how people deal with physical and moral challenges.”
—Douglas Lord, Library Journal
“An exciting blend of literary fiction and thrilling suspense—a harrowing trip into physical danger and a clever meditation on race relations and bravery.”
A Book Riot Quick Pick/Book of the Week for the week of August 28, 2015
“What a pleasure it is seeing characters that live and breathe in the same textured universe that we do. . . . Linked to complicated national issues, imbued with layered representations of Angelenos, [Revoyr] has brought us an intellectually adroit, emotionally nerve-wracking, page-turning thriller.”
—Los Angeles Review of Books
“Even at its deadliest, Revoyr makes the high altitude seem mesmerizing. . . . Revoyr has created characters we care for, issues we need to think about, and vistas that linger, making reading her book almost as much of a rush as scaling the sheer, icy rock of the Sierra Nevada.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“In this heart-hammering literary thriller, four very different and dissatisfied Los Angeles denizens set out on a four-day backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada, only to be confronted by a dangerous stranger.”
—San Francisco Chronicle, Best of 2015: 100 Recommended Books
“Revoyr expertly captures the calming effects of forest, creeks, looming canyon walls on city dwellers . . . Imagine Deliverance set on the contemporary West Coast.”
—BBC, 2015’s Best Beach Reads
“[Revoyr’s] novels defy easy classification: they are page-turners that plumb history, character studies fraught with suspense, hard-boiled visions rendered in warm tones. Fundamentally, they are generous ruminations on what it means to belong. And it’s precisely this—the ability to write with lyricism and compassion about complex, often painful truths—that has made Revoyr one of the city’s great storytellers.”
—Los Angeles Review of Books, Interview with Nina Revoyr
“If you need an intense read to cap off your August, this is it. . . . I can’t say anymore without spoiling it, so I’ll just say struggle, struggle, survival, more struggle, intense, intense, intense!”
“Revoyr [is] one of LA’s greatest contemporary novelists.”
—KCET, LA Letters column
“Four people from Los Angeles . . . embark on a backpacking excursion through the Sierra Nevada and encounter more than they had bargained for.”
“From the very first chapter, Revoyr delicately balances both character and plot, providing an in-depth look at each character’s internal struggles and the external elements from which those conflicts arise.”
“Gripping. . . . Expect to grip the pages, hold your breath, and lose sleep as you move through to find out what their fate will be. . . . [Revoyr] is a writer worth reading.”
—WNC Woman Magazine
“The picturesque forests of inland California are revealed to be harboring all kinds of dangerous secrets.”
“She writes about the city with compassion and a sharp eye for detail, paying attention to people and neighborhoods often left out of mainstream stories about L.A.”
—The Rafu Shimpo
“[Revoyr’s] love for and detailed knowledge of the natural beauty of the canyons and mountains shines through Lost Canyon: the flowers, scents and vistas that Gwen, Oscar and Todd encounter bring moments of healing each had hoped to experience on this trip. In depicting the backpackers working together for survival, Revoyr may also be dramatizing the idea that focusing together on shared dangers is one way to break out of straitjackets of racial and ethnic assumptions.”
“In a former Wisconsinite’s novel, three Angelenos on a backpacking trip through the Sierra Nevada mountains find both natural beauty and human evil.”
—Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, A Recap of the 101 Books I Read in 2015
“The book’s biggest strength is the way in which Revoyr is able to portray the wilderness as both idyllic and dangerous. The characters struggle even before things take a frightening turn, but they also take great comfort in the natural world. And as their situation begins to look truly grim, the beauty of nature still offers a balm.”
“Three Angelenos join their mutual physical trainer for a backpacking trip through the Sierra Nevada mountains, expecting (and privately fearing) to be pushed past their self-perceived limits. With hiking poles and bear spray, they’ve prepared for uncertain slopes and wildlife, but not for the least predictable of dangerous animals—man.”
—The Pueblo Chieftain
“Lost Canyon exquisitely describes the California mountain wilderness, shows the reader the world through the eyes of people very different from one’s self and wraps it up in a tidy thriller bow. Highly recommended!”
—Sonoma Valley Sun
“What starts out as a physical challenge quickly takes a turn for the worse when the group runs into a man who doesn’t want to be discovered. Things rapidly go south, shots are fired, lives are threatened, and the struggle for survival becomes a very real thing that has more to do with courage than with endurance or physical fitness.”
—Boswell Book Company, Staff pick
“Revoyr does an excellent job of drawing the characters for the reader so that by the time the plot takes over the reader’s attention, the reader feels as though s/he knows the characters, and perhaps more importantly, care about them.”
—Beagle and Wolf Bookstore, Staff pick
“Fans of Revoyr will appreciate her keen and meticulous eye toward the depiction of the mountainous landscapes and topographical features; this skill has been especially evident throughout her oeuvre, especially in her ability to render space in its myriad forms and scales (the city, farmland, etc) with such wonderful and rich detail. Perhaps, the greatest achievement in this novel is the realistic transformations that each character undergoes due to the traumatic and pivotal events that occur.”
—Asian American Literature Fans
“An exciting page-turner. . . . Revoyr’s beautiful descriptions of the Sierras almost makes me want to go there. She also captures the essence of Los Angeles and its diversity. I finished the book in a day and loved it.”
—The Cat Overlord Book Club (UCLA)
“Four backpackers of racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds set off into the Sierras in this unusual adventure thriller, only to find that the dangers of American society have followed them there.”
—World Wide Work Newsletter
“In this gripping odyssey a breathtaking adventure goes terribly wrong. . . . Expertly written. Revoyr is a classicist and she offers a trove of pointers for the wannabe writer.”
—Kaieteur News (Guyana)
“With ripped-from-the-headlines action and character backstories that relate to real-life issues like the foreclosure crisis and the plight of students at inner-city schools, Revoyr has crafted an absorbing, thought-proving read.”
—Books & Whatnot
“Four unlikely Angelenos on a backpacking trip in the High Sierra discover that the perils of contemporary life don’t stop at the trailhead. Rarely have the glories and hardship of backcountry travel, and the grandeur of this landscape, been so effectively portrayed. Revoyr strikes gold with this unexpected, fast-moving tale of high-altitude danger.”
—Janet Fitch, author of Paint It Black
“Four urbanites from Los Angeles embark on an uncharted trail, invoking shadows of Deliverance in this fast-paced story which celebrates the mountain world of rock, sky, and woods. Nina Revoyr’s wilderness thriller leaves readers as breathless as the hikers.”
—Ron Carlson, author of The Signal
“Nobody knows Los Angeles like Nina Revoyr! Sharp-witted and big-hearted, Lost Canyon shows us what happens when the melting pot boils over. If you’re brave enough to handle the truth about American race relations, this is the book for you.”
—Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow
Four people on a backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada find more adventure than they ever imagined. They are drawn to the mountains for reasons as diverse as their own lives. Gwen Foster, a counselor for at-risk youth, is struggling with burnout from the demands of her job and with the loss of one of her teens. Real estate agent Oscar Barajas is adjusting to the fall of the housing market and being a single parent. Todd Harris, an attorney, is stuck in a lucrative but unfulfilling career—and in a failing marriage. They are all brought together by their trainer, Tracy Cole, a former athlete with a taste for risky pursuits.
When the hikers start up a pristine mountain trail that hasn’t been traveled in years, all they have to guide them is a hand-drawn map of a remote, mysterious place called Lost Canyon. At first, the route past high alpine lakes and under towering, snowcapped peaks offers all the freedom and exhilaration they’d hoped for. But when they stumble onto someone who doesn’t want to be found, the group finds itself faced with a series of dangerous conflicts, moral dilemmas, confrontations with nature, and an all-out struggle for survival.
Moving effortlessly between city and wilderness, Lost Canyon explores the ways that race, class, and culture shape experience and perception. It examines the choices good people must face in desperate situations. Set in the grand, wild landscape of California’s mountains, Lost Canyon is a story of brewing social tensions and breathtaking adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Listen to Nina Revoyr recommend two books to read this fall on the Los Angeles Review of Books Radio Hour.
Nina Revoyr penned an Op-Ed on the Watts Gang Task Force and its impact on South Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Times; read it here.
Quotes from Nina Revoyr were featured in several articles on the 50th Anniversary of the Watts Riots, including Gawker and the New York Times. Nina Revoyr’s quote was also featured as a New York Times Quotation of the Day; click here to view.
The Chicago Tribune included an interview with Nina Revoyr in a feature on how the bookish stay in shape; read it here.
Watch an interview with Nina Revoyr on Los Angeles’s Watts Riots at MSNBC’s Live with Thomas Roberts:
Watch episode of The Tea, a new book discussion series created by QBR/The Black Book Review, where they discuss Nina Revoyr’s phenomenal Lost Canyon:
NINA REVOYR is the author of four previous novels, including The Age of Dreaming, which was nominated for the LA Times Book Prize; Southland, a Los Angeles Times best seller and “Best Book” of 2003; and Wingshooters, which won an Indie Booksellers’ Choice Award and was selected by O, The Oprah Magazine as one of “10 Titles to Pick Up Now.” Revoyr lives and works in Los Angeles. Lost Canyon is her latest novel.