Join us for a virtual event with David Moloney, author of the Northshire Staff Pick BARKER HOUSE, for a wide-ranging literary conversation with fellow author Benjamin Nugent.
Olive Kitteridge meets The Mars Room in this powerfully unsentimental work of fiction--a portrait of nine lives behind the concrete walls of a New Hampshire jail.
David Moloney's Barker House follows the story of nine unforgettable New Hampshire correctional officers over the course of one year on the job. While veteran guards get by on what they consider survival strategies--including sadistic power-mongering and obsessive voyeurism--two rookies, including the only female officer on her shift, develop their own tactics for facing “the system.” Tracking their subtly intertwined lives, Barker House reveals the precarious world of the jailers, coming to a head when the unexpected death of one in their ranks brings them together.
Timely and universal, this masterfully crafted debut adds a new layer to discussions of America's criminal justice system, and introduces a brilliant young literary talent.
David Moloney worked in the Hillsborough County Department of Corrections, NH, from 2007 to 2011. He received a BA in English and creative writing from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he now teaches, and an MFA from Southern New Hampshire's Mountainview low-residency program, where he won the Lynn Safford Memorial Prize. He lives in Massachusetts.
"A story of contemporary prison life told from the perspective of both the employees and the prisoners, all of whom are held captive in their own way. Barker House eventually takes its toll on everyone who passes through its gates, chipping away at hope and draining the humanity out of them. Compassion can prove to be dangerous and sentimentality is completely banished. The author's prose is as solid and unforgiving as the stone and concrete that surrounds his characters. I occasionally looked up to make sure that there were no bars on the window and that I could catch a glimpse of blue sky." Reviewed by Alden Graves
"HERE is a voice to listen to! Moloney's voice is as true as a voice can be. Concise, with the right details rendered perfectly, these sentences come to the reader with marvelous straight forwardness, clean as a bone."--Elizabeth Strout
“In over thirty years of writing and teaching, I have not witnessed a stronger artistic debut than David Moloney's; in fact, Barker House does not remotely read like a debut but more as the seasoned work of a writer with enormous gifts. . . This book heralds the arrival of a new and important voice among us.” —Andre Dubus III, author of HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG
“How fortunate we are that a brilliant and honest storyteller was embedded in the American prison system as a corrections officer for years. Moloney went to the underworld and came back. The setting in Barker House has the unmistakable aspect of a real place, the dialogue the unmistakable ring of real speech. I loved my visits to this terrible kingdom.” —Benjamin Nugent, author of FRATERNITY (forthcoming) and winner of the Paris Review's 2019 Terry Southern Prize
Northshire Live virtual events feature weekly author guests via Zoom, as well as a chance to connect with other readers and book lovers. To support Northshire Bookstore's event program, Northshire Live events are ticketed on a pay-what-you-can basis. Free for those who purchase an event book from Northshire or for those with financial hardship, tickets and registration are only available via Eventbrite.