Claire Davis

Claire Davis is the author of Season of the Snake and Winter Range, which won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award for Best First Novel and the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for Best Novel. Her stories have appeared in The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, and Ploughshares, been read on National Public Radio's Selected Shorts program, and been selected for the Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Price anthologies. She lives in Lewiston, Idaho.



Set in the small towns and outlands of the American West, Claire Davis's fiction has been anthologized, published in our most respected literary magazines, and widely praised as some of the truest, most affecting prose about this region in decades. Labors of the Heart demonstrates the breadth of her talent, insight, and empathy. "Adultery" follows a middle-aged man who learns that his mother is cheating on her new husband. In "Grounded," a mother doggedly follows her son as he tries to run away along Montana's highways. And in the title story, a lonely man is literally struck by love for a woman he sees at the supermarket.

These stories, from the beloved author of Winter Range and Season of the Snake, trace the hidden longings of seemingly stoical people, seeking out the rifts and ruptures in their quiet lives.

“The prose is lovely. . . . Though these are quiet crises, they will echo long in the minds of readers.” Booklist

“Claire Davis writes beautiful stories. Let's get that much out there right away. Her new collection, Labors of the Heart, is filled with gems, plot lines and characters that stick with you long after you have put the book down.”The Oregonian

“Davis's lyrical prose breathes startled life into the everyday problems of everyday people. . . . Tenderly and acutely illuminates the longings and desperations of the wretchedly imperfect human heart.”Missoula Independent

“An excellent debut collection of short stories; many portray small-town life in the Northwest with grit and nuance.” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

St. Martin’s/Picador, World English


KISS TOMORROW HELLO: Notes from the Midlife Underground by Twenty-Five Women over Forty (2006), co-edited with Kim Barnes

A collection of blazingly honest, smart, and often humorous essays on middle age contributed by well-known writers such as Julia Glass, Joyce Maynard, Lolly Winston, Antonya Nelson, Diana Abu-Jaber, Judy Blunt, Lauren Slater, and other voices of the baby boom generation.

In the tradition of the bestselling A Bitch in the HouseKiss Tomorrow Hello brings together the experiences and reflections of women as they embark on a new stage of life. Many women in their forties, fifties, and sixties discover that they are racing uphill, trying desperately to keep their romantic and social lives afloat just as those things they believe constant start to shift: The body begins its inevitable decline, sometimes gracefully, sometimes less so…

The twenty-five stellar writers gathered here explore a wide range of concerns, including keeping love (and sex) alive, discovering family secrets, negotiating the demands of illness and infertility, letting children go, making peace with parents, and contemplating plastic surgery. The tales are true, the confessions candid, and the humor infectious—just what you’d expect from the women whose works represent the best writings of their generation. From Lynn Freed’s wry “Happy Birthday to Me” to Pam Houston’s hilarious “Coffee Dates with a Beefcake”; from Ellen Sussman's "Tearing Up the Sheets" to Julia Glass's "I Have a Crush on Ted Geisel," Kiss Tomorrow Hello is a wise, lyrical, and sexy look at the pleasures and perils of midlife.

"[T]here are several outstanding contributions....No doubt other boomer women will find much to identify with." Publishers Weekly

Rights: Doubleday, North American; Oprah, Good Housekeeping, More, First serial; Ladies Home Journal, Second serial



From the author of Winter Range comes a powerful and frightening literary thriller of love, loyalty, and menacing secrets. Nance Able has finally recovered from the violent death of her first husband and is living a new life in the West with her second husband, Ned. When Meredith, her younger, errant sister, decides to move to the same town, Nance's long-sought happiness is threatened. As a snake scientist, she is attuned to the dangers of the natural world, but she is unaware of the danger in her own house. With Meredith's arrival, Nance begins to suspect her husband of being a sexual predator. As Ned's behavior unfolds, the two sisters struggle to come to some understanding of what separates them and fight to discover the strength they need to survive.

"Another powerful and suspenseful tale . . . Davis isn't afraid to provoke some compelling questions about violence against women. . . . A chilling peek into the snake-charmer's pit."Kirkus Reviews

"Vivid scenery and a tangible impression of ominous menace will appeal to fans of literary psychological suspense."--Library Journal

"Davis develops a carefully drawn accrual of texture and detail. . . .Compelling writing on the powerful bonds that constitute family."Booklist

"Season of the Snake provides the elusive double whammy of an action-packed plot with literary value. . . . A gripping, gritty novel stuffed with piercing insights into the human condition."The Oregonian (Portland) 

"A suspenseful and heartbreaking meditation on the nature of fate, family, sex, death, and our individual misuses of love. Truly a thrilling novel."Mark Spragg, author of An Unfinished Life

"Davis not only shows that she can beat the so-called sophomore jinx, but also branch out in new directions without jeopardizing her craft. . . . Season of the Snake is an impressive, if disturbing, work that promises more good things to come from a talented author."The Denver Post

"A creepy page-turner . . . I read it almost straight through; there's no denying its lurid grip on the imagination."—The Seattle Times

"Like a coiled diamondback, Claire Davis's Season of the Snake grabs your attention and doesn't let go. The only time I put it down was to get up and lock the doors."—Judy Blunt, author of Breaking Clean

"Claire Davis's new novel is a psychological thriller written with an almost Proustian sense of detail. It would not surprise me if Season of the Snake turns out to be this year's Mystic River, that rare book that manages to be both a huge literary and popular success."—Steve Yarbrough, author of Prisoners of War

"In Claire Davis's chilling new novel, predators wear the colors of their surroundings and only the undeceived survive. A tough, smart story given in uncommonly vibrant and muscular language. Season of the Snake reconfirms her place in the first rank of voices from the American West."—David Long, author of The Falling Boy

Rights: St. Martin’s, North America; El Tercer Nombre, Spain; Rocher, France



Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award for Best First Novel and the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for Best Novel

In Winter Range, the intimate details of ranching and small-town life are woven into the suspenseful story of three people struggling to survive, to belong, and to love in the chillingly bleak landscape of eastern Montana. Ike Parsons is a small-town sheriff whose life is stable and content; his wife Pattiann is a rancher's daughter with a secret past. But when Ike tries to help a hard-luck cattleman named Chas Stubblefield, he triggers Chas's resentment and finds his home and his wife targeted by a plot for revenge.

“Brilliant, beautifully written...Davis’s skill brings wintry Montana alive.”Kirkus, starred review

“A fine first novel....with lyrical precision, Davis describes a way of life in which actions are more eloquent than words.” The New Yorker

“Davis...vividly teaches her readers something new... fresh and unexpected every time.” —Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times

“[A] wonderfully strange unflinching portrait of a way of life indebted to nature.” —Louise Jarvis, The New York Times Book Review

“This is a novel of social class and dreadful climate, Americans in desperate circumstances trying—and sometimes failing—to live peaceful lives.” —Carolyn See, Washington Post

“Penetrating, and heart-wrenching detail... Davis has pictured the region and its peoples with such credible vividness that her images speak for themselves.” San Diego Tribune

“Wonderful...her story races toward a gripping, ice-bound tragedy.” —Ron Charles, Christian Science Monitor

“Impressive...Davis writes so well.” —Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today

“Fresh and provocative...Davis’s literary ethos rivals Larry Watson, Kent Haruf and Ivan Doig.” —Ron Franscell, San Francisco Chronicle

Rights: Picador, U.S.; Hoffman und Campe, Germany; Denoel, France