April 13, 2011

Preview of Caleb's Crossing

An author blogs about her forthcoming Native-themed novel:

Dirty Hands:  Digging Up the Past in Caleb's Crossing

By Geraldine BrooksThe idea for Caleb's Crossing grew out of a notation on a map of the island of Martha's Vineyard. It marked the birthplace of the first Native American graduate of Harvard. I immediately thought of the 1960s civil rights era, and wondered if I might run into this person at the farmer's market one day. Then I learned that the graduation in question took place in the 1660s, not the 1960s. Immediately, my imagination went into hyperdrive.

What was Harvard like then, at the dawn of the English colonial experiment? (Hint: not the rich and well-appointed institution it is today.) Who was this young man, and what would it take to step out of an ancient animist tradition and into the Latin-speaking world of the Puritan intellectual elite?
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Harvard's Indian College.


dmarks said...

I think I pointed you to this link before:


Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:


Book World:  ‘Caleb’s Crossing’ by Geraldine Brooks

Contemporary American life has little room for real meditations on how a handful of English settlers, in spite of themselves, created the nation we live in today. Most of us remember the consequential decades between Plymouth Rock and 1776 only as flickering vignettes of pilgrims, witches and helpful Indians during a holiday that celebrates family dysfunction and the NFL.

As often happens, it falls to an outsider to breathe life into our past—in this case, an Australian. Geraldine Brooks, once a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and more recently a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist (for “March,” in 2005), writes about early America the same way she wrote about Sarajevo and the Middle East, which is to say very well.