The Teeth of the Souls by Steve Yates
6 x 9 • 480 pages
$32.95 hardcover • 978-0-913785-53-9
“Steve Yates’s The Teeth of the Souls is gripping, well-plotted, and frighteningly authentic. Yates shows great courage as a writer who is not afraid to travel into dark places. With each new work, his craftsmanship matures, and he shows himself to be a true Son of the Border. I believe it time he be acknowledged as one of our premier contemporary historical novelists.”
—Howard Bahr, author of Pelican Road, The Judas Field, The Year of Jubilo, and The Black Flower
“Steve Yates searches out the hidden stories from our regional history. Those events that were murky in the shadows, forgotten, or simply not spoken about, are in his hands turned into powerful and fresh fiction. Yates has scope to his ambitions, and talent to match. An exciting new voice.”
—Daniel Woodrell, author of The Maid’s Version: A Novel, Winter’s Bone, Outlaw’s Album: Stories, Woe to Live On, and many more
“Steve Yates has been one of my favorite short story writers for years. But now, with The Teeth of the Souls, he’s becoming one of my favorite novelists. I can’t recommend him highly enough.”
—Tom Franklin, author of Poachers, Hell at the Breech, Smonk, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, and (with poet Beth Ann Fennelly) The Tilted World
Sequel to Morkan’s Quarry, The Teeth of the Souls tells the story of a marriage betrayed, a lifelong and secret love, and an Ozarks city riven by an Easter lynching.
The story begins just after the Civil War when Leighton Shea Morkan, son of Irish immigrants, chooses a marriage of land and convenience with Patricia Grünhaagen Weitzer, daughter of a German banking family. Yet his heart belongs to his childhood friend and wartime confidante, the house hand and former slave, Judith. Both unions produce children, one a shrouded secret, and one the heir to the Morkan fortune—the limestone quarries of Springfield, Missouri, and the bloody legacy of the past, what Judith calls “The Teeth of the Souls.”
Grounded in broad historical research and spanning Missouri’s reconstruction, vigilantism, and fall from grace, The Teeth of the Souls chronicles the violent melding of immigrant strains—Irish, German, Scots-Irish, and African-American—into the fabric of the Ozarks. As Leighton’s twentieth century begins, the rush of technology and the seeming advancement of humankind cannot mask old hatreds, greed, and lust for vengeance. Leighton’s answer to evil affirms the power of one man’s resistance, and the cost.
Springfield, Missouri native Steve Yates is the Juniper Prize-winning author of Some Kinds of Love: Stories (University of Massachusetts Press 2013) and of Morkan’s Quarry (Moon City Press 2010). A novella-length portion of The Teeth of the Souls appeared in the Arkansas Review/Kansas Quarterly. Two excerpts appeared in The Missouri Review and one in Elder Mountain Review. Yates is currently the Assistant Director / Marketing Director at the University Press of Mississippi.