THIRSTY: a novel by Kristin Bair O'Keeffe


“Kristin Bair O’Keeffe’s Thirsty has all the power of a small miracle. The mysteries of nineteenth century, small town factory life—the sudden appearance of thousands of butterflies, an extraordinary affliction of hiccups, a talking bird—brilliantly transcend the accumulation of everyday cruelties. A remarkably good read.“
—Joe Meno, author of The Great Perhaps and Hairstyles of the Damned

Thirsty is a beautiful tale, vivid and gently told. It is the story of one woman’s incredible strength of spirit, and a reminder of the foundation contemporary America is built upon—one of unspeakable cruelty, and Job-like suffering, as well as generosity and unbreakable hope.“
—Don De Grazia, author of American Skin

Thirsty is a rare and special type of book—an intelligent page turner, a forward–thinking historical drama, a picture painted with equal shades of light and darkness. The language is consistently surprising and often intensely beautiful, the characters rich with nuance.”
—David Crouse, author of The Man Back There and Copy Cats

“A debut novel that is artfully told and full of literary surprises, Kristin Bair O’Keeffe’s Thirsty tackles oppression at the turn of the twentieth century without wincing... Stark, poetic, and brimming with hope, Thirsty glimpses the uncomfortable truth about what it means to house a battered heart and live a life shackled by seemingly insurmountable circumstances.”
—Christina Katz, author of Writer Mama and Get Known before the Book Deal

“Following the lives of turn-of-the-century immigrants to the steel mills of Pittsburgh, Thirsty is a powerful and moving tale of love and escape and loss.“
—Justin Hill, author of Passing Under Heaven and The Drink and Dream Teahouse

“With exquisite language and unflinching storytelling Kristin Bair O’Keeffe opens wide a world of immigrant struggle and the heartbreaking compromises our ancestral mothers faced. In turns brutal and hopeful, Thirsty is a beautiful account of an ordinary woman in the midst of extraordinary circumstances. It is a reminder that small miracles still happen.”
—Heather Sharfeddin, author of three novels, including Blackbelly and Windless Summer