Prodigies (July 2021)
Winner, the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, 2022
Published by Five Star Publishing of Waterville, Maine.
The novel is a Western with a twist, set in Gilded Age New York, post-Civil War Appalachia and the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory.
Here’s some of what readers have said:
“This novel and its trio of teenagers surprised me over and over again. Prodigies is a rip-roaring, unexpected, funny, and utterly original escape.”
- Angie Abdou (This One Wild Life, In Case I Go)
“Part Oliver Twist, part Sisters Brothers; this one’s a great summer read.”
- Glenn Dixon (Juliet’s Answer, Bootleg Stardust)
“Winnipeg based author Bob Armstrong has written an engaging Western novel with crossover appeal to young adult audiences. Set in 1870s New York and Midwest America, Prodigies grips readers tight and holds on right to the end. … The novel’s explosive conclusion could certainly launch a sequel as our prodigies (now friends) dust off and continue their journeys.”
- Anita Daher (You Don’t Have to Die in the End)
Prodigies focuses on three youths with uncanny abilities who converge on Deadwood in the late 1870s. The issues of the day — the collapse of Reconstruction, the economic depression of the 1870s, the slow rise of the union movement, the growing power of the Robber Barons, rapid immigration, the beginnings of mass culture — shape the characters and the story.
I researched settings for the novel by walking the streets of Lower Manhattan and Deadwood and driving backroads in the Dakotas.
Dadolescence (Turnstone Press, 2011)
In 2011, Turnstone Press, a Winnipeg-based publisher of fiction and poetry since 1976, published my novel, Dadolescence.
Dadolescence is a comic novel about a stay-at-home father coming to terms with what it means to be a man in modern suburbia. It grew out of a play I wrote and performed in (with my son Sam) at the 2007 Winnipeg Fringe Festival.