Four Corners

FOUR CORNERS - Paperback edition $15 | Hardcover $25

Livingston Press, 2005

“In this haunting account of a young woman’s inner struggle for an individual identity and personal independence, Krista Madsen writes with a beautiful, fluid lyricism, a style that is both poetically rich and at the same time economical. The result is a distinguished and captivating novel.“ 


“Krista Madsen’s FOUR CORNERS is a novel of slow, delicious developing. It is a novel of discovery; not a clichéd coming of age, but a tougher excavation–about our essence, and the quest, acknowledged or not, which shapes itself and alters us, leaving us changed in ways we never expected. 

Krista Madsen exhibits an uncanny ability to maintain a sense of play in her writing, even when conveying the darkest news. There is also a sense throughout FOUR CORNERS that the words are creating themselves; appearing on the page in surprising, original and jarring ways without ever seeming ‘forced,’ which matches perfectly the changes in her narrator. 

There’s a sense of trust in language here that many writers take a lifetime to manage. There is a tremendous amount of playing with meaning, with meaning in the play; the word choices here are both deceptively tossed-off, and utterly crucial to understanding Lore, her main character. 

There are long seemingly stand-alone segments of writing that take the breath away, whose set-piece themes return again in unexpected and wonderfully jolting ways as FOUR CORNERS progresses. As the book moves to its perfect, hard-earned dénouement, Krista Madsen expertly ties the loose strands of her story together, and leaves the reader with the feeling that they have encountered something different; something that sticks.” 

FOUR CORNERS is a novel set in squares — beds full of absence, pick-ups trucks that never get anywhere, dinner tables where food pulls people together and apart. Surrounded by endless fields with no trace of ocean, Laur changes her name to Lore and imagines a new existence, full of motorcycles and escape, Johnny Crisis and vices. But the barely living and mostly dead haunt: her eight-foot tall father who looms larger than ever, mom dwindling to bone, a twin brother who burrows through the literal rubble while his sister diddles with words. Teetering between memory and dreams, Lore questions her medium, this burden of stories, this gift.