Snowflake, AZ

In Snowflake, AZ, Marcus Sedgwick (White Crow) tosses the coming-of-age genre on its head, eschewing the stereotypical strong, charismatic hero and instead focusing on a confused young man whose unusual circumstances allow him to view the world from a distinct perspective.

From the time he steps off a Greyhound bus in the "little town with the funny name" in the Arizona desert, Ash begins to feel out of place. He finds himself living in an isolated community of people suffering from "environmental illness"; his landlady is a retired professor, his roommate is a cranky goat and his bedroom is a porch with a lovely view of the open sky. After only a short stay in the strange town of Snowflake, Arizona, Ash, too, falls victim to a mysterious illness, leaving him with questions about humanity's place in the natural world.

Sedgwick expertly weaves scientific facts and philosophical theories into his intensely introspective narrative, inviting the reader to explore the ambiguity of accepted "truths." Snowflake, AZ is not only a refreshing and entertaining twist on a familiar genre, it is also (and perhaps more importantly) a thought-provoking exploration of the past, present and future of humans relative to the natural world: "compared to the four billion years of [human] existence, the life and works of mankind seemed less important and lasting than a snowflake, melting." Snowflake, AZ is a heartwarming story about a young man and his struggle to find acceptance, and an indictment of complacency, a warning about the future humanity will encounter should we fail to change our ways. --Cade Williams, age 18

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