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Synopsis: A big-hearted, small-town girl must cope with poverty and a crazy alcoholic husband, but overcomes her troubles with uncommon courage. A standout in the crowd of first novels, Ruth narrates a story that confronts real-life issues of alienation and violence from which Hamilton creates a stunning testament to the human capacity for mercy, compassion, and love. Winner of the 1989 PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel