When Cookie Figowitz, the cook for a party of volatile fur trappers trekking through the Oregon Territory in the 1820s, joins up with the refugee Henry Brown, the two begin a wild ride that takes them from the virgin territory of the West all the way to China and back again. One hundred and sixty years later, Tina Plank, an unhappy teenager, meets Trixie, a girl with a troubled past, and the two become fast friends. But when two skeletons are accidentally unearthed from their common ground, the lives of Tina and Trixie, Cookie and Henry are brought together in unexpected and startling ways. Jonathan Raymond attended Swarthmore College. He was an editor at Plazm magazine and received his M.F.A. from New School University. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. "A marvelous novel...a mystery as rich as the history of the Oregon territory itself."-Vanity Fair "Raymond nimbly interweaves these parallel tales and manages to surprise...[a] subtle portrait of friendship and loss...[from] an astute, patient observer."-Entertainment Weekly "Raymond's debut novel teems with carefully researched period details, intrigue...yet it never feels overstuffed."-Washington Post "With The Half-Life, [Raymond] has come home prospecting for literary gold ...Oregon has given him something back."-San Francisco Chronicle "Quietly stunning...Raymond is a kind of stealth bomber of the epic."-Newsday "Terrific...The Half-Life gazes upon those fierce but ephemeral attachments that evade the history books. Multiple plots elegantly veer across the sprawling terrain."-Village Voice

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