Tributary by Barbara K. Richardson

Winner of the 2013 Utah Book Award,
the 15 Bytes Book Award,
and the WILLA Literary Finalist Award

Willa Finalist Logo

“A quest to belong is the theme of this novel from Richardson, whose lyrical prose and heartfelt characters shine through. This novel has much to offer, including a balanced perspective on a controversial time in Mormon history, but its greatest gift is its wisdom about finding one’s own path.”    —Publishers Weekly

Now Available: |Barnes and Noble|Amazon

ISBN: 978-1-937226-04-6 / $15.95 / 352 pages / Trade Paperback / September 2012

Distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales and Distribution: 1-800-283-3572
Exam and desk copies available

Tributary Press Kit

A Conversation with Barbara K. Richardson

High resolution cover

Author photo

Barbara K. Richardson’s website

Reviews and Interviews

The Salt Lake Tribune
Publishers Weekly
15 Bytes
5280 Magazine
High Country News
A Book and a Review
All Things Girl

Barbara Richardson’s debut novel, Guest House, launched the first literary Truck Stop Tour in the nation and was a fiction finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award in 2010. In Tributary, she claims the land of her Mormon ancestors who settled the northern Salt Lake Valley. Richardson earned an MFA in poetry from Eastern Washington University.

Aside from writing, Barbara has renovated four houses, enjoyed Argentine tango, fallen in love with tai chi, helped can the West’s finest plum jam, adored conifers, and planted thousands of trees and shrubs for others. Barbara is also an avid environmentalist. She lives in Kamas, Utah.

Praise for Tributary:

15 Bytes

“Richardson takes readers back to 1870 Utah for this tale of strength and survival. Raised as a Mormon, our hero Clair Martin travels to the American South, through Shoshone country, and back to Utah.”
The Denver Post

“In some ways, the novel serves to circumvent the convention of Western literature…the story explores how the landscape itself becomes the salvation of Clair Martin.”
The Salt Lake Tribune

“Richardson, whose Mormon ancestors settled in the northern Salt Lake Valley, offers a complete portrait of life in the American West by exploring the struggles of a woman living outside the centers of power. Engaging and beautifully written,Tributary is a welcome addition to the current conversation.”
5280 Magazine

“As wild and isolating as the determined, defiant Clair, the prairies and mountain ranges seduce both narrator and reader. Richardson has created rich, memorable characters.”
High Country News

“You’ll love resolute Clair Martin, the equal of any man—or religion. Clair’s strength and survival are the heritage of western women.”
Sandra Dallas, author of True Sisters

“I’ve been hungering for a book like this since I finished Lonesome Dove—a tale of the Old West big enough to crawl into completely, full of magnetic characters, unspeakable dangers, and beautiful language.”
Lisa Jones, author of Broken: A Love Story

“Beautifully written and engaging, this is a story of one woman and her refusal to cave into societal norms in order to seek her own difficult and inspired path.”
Laura Pritchett, author of Sky Bridge

“The language and writing are surefooted and fresh and often startling the way the best poetry can be startling. Richardson is a new American voice worth listening to.”
Peter Heller, author of The Dog Stars and Kook

“From polygamist Mormon desert settlements to the yellow fever-plagued Gulf to an Idaho sheep ranch, Richardson evokes the 19th Century West and the human heart in all their complexity. ”
Barbara Wright, author of the Spur Award-winning novel Plain Language

“Richardson captures the grandeur and harshness of the Old West in a young woman’s struggle to find a home and a family without losing herself. A lyrical and haunting story not to be missed.”
Margaret Coel, author of Buffalo Bill’s Dead Now

“Barbara Richardson’s deceptively simple book is nothing less than an epic.”
Jesse Kornbluth,

We invite you to leave thoughts or reviews below.

For more information about Tributary, please email

1 Response to Tributary by Barbara K. Richardson

  1. Pingback: Making the West Our Own « Pearlmoonplenty

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