In this literary debut, Durham recounts the adventures and trials of a black pioneer family in the late 1870s. At the center of the story is Gabriel, a young man who moves reluctantly from the urban North with his mother and younger brother to join his stepfather, a homesteader in Kansas. When he runs away to become a cowboy, his search for ...
In this literary debut, Durham recounts the adventures and trials of a black pioneer family in the late 1870s. At the center of the story is Gabriel, a young man who moves reluctantly from the urban North with his mother and younger brother to join his stepfather, a homesteader in Kansas. When he runs away to become a cowboy, his search for excitement brings trouble and danger.
N jacket. Brand New, Hardcover with dust jacket, clean, tight, unmarked, small remainder dot on bottom page edges, 6" x 8 1/2", 292 pages...Set in the 1870s, this novel tells the tale of Gabriel Lynch, an African American youth who settles with his family in the plains of Kansas. Dissatisfied with the drudgery of homesteading and growing increasingly disconnected from his family, Gabriel forsakes the farm for a life of higher adventure. Thus begins a forbidding trek into a terrain of austere beauty.
New in As New jacket. Signed by Author(s) 0385498144 First Edition, First printing. Not inscribed clipped or otherwise marked. Signed on the title page by author. Securely packed and shipped in a box. Complete # line 10987654321. F/F.
Publishers Weekly, 2000-12-04 The old West, both beautiful and brutal, is the setting of Durham's magnificently realized debut novel, a classic coming-of-age story of an African-American boy. Shortly after the Civil War, 15-year-old Gabriel Lynch, his mother and younger brother head out from Baltimore to meet Gabriel's new stepfather in Kansas, where the family hopes to make a fresh start as farmers. But Gabriel finds homesteading to be backbreaking and depressing and is soon lured away by cruel, charismatic Marshall Hogg, who's leading a group of cowboys down into Texas. It seems a dream come true for Gabriel, but then the nightmare begins. While bloated with whiskey, Marshall accidentally murders a man, precipitating a flight from the law that degenerates into a grotesque spree of burglary, rape, kidnapping and murder. Gabriel desperately wants to escape, but is prevented by Marshall's threats and the menacing presence of Caleb, a mute and shadowy figure. When Gabriel finally manages to free himself, the evil that he unwillingly witnessed follows him back home?and threatens the people he loves most. Durham is a born storyteller: each step of Gabriel's descent into hell proceeds from the natural logic of the narrative itself, which manages to be inevitable even as it's totally surprising. Equally impressive is Durham's gift for describing the awful beauty of the American West: "The April sky was not a thing of air and gas," writes Durham. "Rather it lay like a solid ceiling of slate, pressing the living down into the prairie." The tale's racial dimension is subtly and intelligently developed, and though some readers may be turned off by the violence Gabriel witnesses, all will be impressed by Durham's maturity, skill and lovingly crafted prose. Agent, Sloan Harris. (Jan. 16) Forecast: Durham's view of 1800s history through the eyes of a hopeful African-American boy adds a new dimension to the perennially appealing theme of the lure of the West. Doubleday seems ready to get behind this novel with focused promotion, including an author tour; readers may take notice. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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