"Robert Vivian's prose is lyrical and harrowing-harrowing in the Biblical sense," Sven Birkerts said of The Mover of Bones, the first book in Vivian's Tall Grass Trilogy. That same lyrical power carries this new volume to a place of hard-won hope and redemption at once both spiritual and earthly. Lamb Bright Saviors begins as an apocalyptically inclined itinerant preacher staggers across the Nebraska prairie. With his young assistant, Mady, in tow hauling a wagon stacked with bibles, it's not long before the preacher finds he's come to the final fulfillment of his self-proclaimed life's work: to die in front of a group of strangers. Odd as his own end-of-days might be, the lives and struggles of the strangers attending this deathbed scene are even odder. As the dying preacher unleashes a barrage of hallucinatory ramblings and rantings in the hope of imparting wisdom, each ragtag member of this unlikely congregation must reckon with his or her own dark past. And, through it all, the irrepressible Mady lends the preacher's strange performance a surprising and unforgettable dignity and humor.
Robert Vivian is a professor of English and creative writing at Alma College in Michigan and also teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is the author of The Mover of Bones (Nebraska 2006) and Cold Snap as Yearning, available in a Bison Books edition.