In an unusual and unexpected format, syntax is tightened once more, and one is met with a refreshingly insistent recurrence of paragraphs in composure — a book disinterested in things Plebeian. A surely to be unwelcome departure from the hurriedly cobbled-together texts of the New York literati. Perhaps, even, a deliberate affront — a shot across the bow. And more importantly…a recognizably American note has returned to fiction — the more American for being of an unmistakably WASPish timbre…
—John Miles Foley, 2010
Orchard Park and Other Works — A Novel by Tom Fahy
Russell Huggins has died an indigent’s death but left behind a formidable literary estate. Tom Shaw has been enlisted by The University of Maryland’s Urban Archaeology Department to decipher and distill, catalog and compile, Huggins’ vast collection of single-spaced, handwritten journals and ledgers littering the second floor of Button House, a dilapidated mansion on the outskirts of Orchard Park, a Baltimore suburb. Is it but a case of riotous hypergraphia or does the University’s adamancy suggest something else? Orchard Park tells the tale of one man’s effort to scratch at the canvas; to peel away life’s protective layers; to decrypt meaning from the cultural artifacts by which he is surrounded — to achieve grace through creation and redemption through imagination.