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What to expect

In the year of our Lord 1894, I became an outlaw.

On the day of her wedding-dance, Ada feels lucky. She loves her broad-shouldered, bashful husband and her job as an apprentice midwife.

But her luck will not last. It is every woman’s duty to have a child, to replace those that were lost in the Great Flu. And after a year of marriage and no pregnancy, in a town where barren women are hanged as witches, Ada’s survival depends on leaving behind everything she knows.

She joins up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang. Its leader, a charismatic preacher-turned-robber, known to all as The Kid, wants to create a safe haven for women outcast from society. But to make this dream a reality, the Gang hatches a treacherous plan. And Ada must decide whether she’s willing to risk her life for the possibility of a new kind of future for them all.

‘North is a riveting storyteller . . . Reader, you are in for a real treat’ JENNY ZHANG

‘Fans of Margaret Atwood and Cormac McCarthy finally get the Western they deserve’ ALEXIS COE

‘North’s knockout latest chronicles the travails of a midwife’s daughter who joins a group of female and nonbinary outlaws near the end of the 19th century . . . Impossible to put down’ PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY

‘Calling it The Handmaid’s Tale crossed with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid goes some way to describe this novel’s memorable world, but it is also wholly its own’ KIRKUS

‘A grand, unforgettable tale’ ESMÉ WEIJUN WANG

Critics Review

  • Anna North has written a captivating Western unlike any other, with unique rhythms, dusty lands, and characters like new friends brought in on high winds. A grand, unforgettable tale.

  • I’m dazzled by this feminist Western about a world in which women’s worth and right to live are determined by the vagaries of fertility. Set in an alternate past, one all too similar to our today, Outlawed is terrifying, wise, tender, and thrilling. A masterpiece.

  • Outlawed flips the script on the beloved Western genre and gives us the iconic heroine-on-the-run we deserve. Anna North is a riveting storyteller … Reader, you are in for a real treat!

    Jenny Zhang, author of SOUR HEART
  • Fans of Margaret Atwood and Cormac McCarthy finally get the Western they deserve in OUTLAWED, but Anna North doesn’t just reimagine a damsel-in-distress as her own savior. She plays with the promise and danger of the frontier, introducing us to an America we never knew-and one we know all too well

  • A moving and invigorating complication of the Western, highlighting chosen family, love, and survival among outcasts in another American timeline. As she mines the genre for vital new stories, North beautifully shines a light on our real past and conveys a warning for the future.

    Lydia Kiesling, author of THE GOLDEN STATE
  • This absorbing feminist western plucks the greatest conceits of the genre – the tension between individual freedom and society, the romance of the Old West marred by its inherent violence – and turns them on their heads . . . Anna North skewers the machismo traditionally championed by outlaws, and gives us instead resilient women who dress, rob and kill as men, but have all the burdens and forbearance of rejected women . . . written with careful prose that lingers lovingly on the details of convalescence, and luxuriating in its surroundings: the jackrabbits that hide behind jagged rocks, the smell of sage in Powder country . . . Outlawed shares concerns with The Handmaid’s Tale and The Crucible, but is distinctly itself . . This is first a moving examination of how the marginalised find friendship in an indifferent world and only second, a western. John Wayne’s characters had the luxury of self-imposed isolation; these outlaws must stick together or die

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