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The Eden Hunter

A Novel

List Price: $15.95

August 17, 2010 | Paperback | 5.5 x 8.2, 320 Pages | ISBN 9781582436098
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“[Horack] writes luminous, clean prose, holding the fantastically beautiful wilderness steadily in front of us, but also describing a scalping or evisceration with a matter-of-fact directness that reminds us how the terms of that world were negotiated and understood.” —New York Times Book Review

In 1816, five years after being captured and sold into slavery, Kau, a pygmy tribesman, flees south into the Florida wilderness, determined to find a place where he can once again live in harmony with nature. Both haunted and driven by his memories of Africa, he embarks on an epic quest through the treacherous pinewoods, swamps, and river bottoms of the Southern frontier. He encounters renegades and thieves, traitors and mercenaries, and the dark prophetic magic of the forest before he finally finds himself within the walls of a remote fort on the Apalachicola River. There, he becomes the reluctant companion of several hundred runaway slaves once recruited by the British to fight in the War of 1812, then abandoned to fend for themselves against the American forces intent on destroying their remarkable stronghold.

Inspired by actual historical events occurring after the turn of the nineteenth century, and at turns both violent and beautiful, The Eden Hunter is the amazing story of a man’s journey into the turbulent forces of a torn and fragmented America.

SKIP HORACK is the author of the story collection The Southern Cross. He is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford, where he was also a Wallace Stegner Fellow. A native of Louisiana, and a graduate of Florida State University, he now lives in San Francisco.

Praise

“[Horack] writes luminous, clean prose, holding the fantastically beautiful wilderness steadily in front of us, but also describing a scalping or evisceration with a matter-of-fact directness that reminds us how the terms of that world were negotiated and understood. He has a poet’s tuned attentiveness, but never uses his sentences to preen. Reading his novel, I thought more than once of Cormac McCarthy—not just of the calmly depicted frontier slaughter of Blood Meridian but also of the scoured post-apocalyptic vision of The Road. What a pair of American bookends The Road and The Eden Hunter would make—one traversing the ruins of a world that has spent its promise, the other bringing us in just as the whole bitter and doomed business is getting started.” —New York Times Book Review

“Moving in more ways than one… a page-turner that really gets to you.” —SF Weekly

“Intriguing… A solid read.” —Charlotte Observer

“Horack is masterful… An exceptionally evocative novel.” —Booklist

“A visceral and authentic account of a distinctive character and his quest for freedom. [Brings] to mind Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain or Toni Morrison’s Beloved.” —Library Journal

“Magnificent.” —San Francisco Magazine

“Skip Horack’s novel is historically grounded, richly imagined, slyly humorous, and finally very touching. It seems to me not just a brave book, but a noble one, and it’s also a sheer delight.” —Ron Hansen, author of Mariette in Ecstasy

“Skip Horack’s debut novel, The Eden Hunter, is a beautifully written, suspense-filled adventure story that conjures the great terrain of Melville and Conrad as he explores one man’s struggle to seek goodness in the midst of evil. Call him Kau. Or Adam. This pygmy slave’s journey from birth to myth is amazing in scope and storytelling power.” —Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life

The Eden Hunter is a fierce, taut novel that’s hard to stop once you start it. It has a seamless quality, gleaming details described in a perfectly-pitched, lyrical flow of language that’s as powerful and unstoppable as its river of ants (just wait till you get to it). With one of the most original and unforgettable heroes in recent fiction, this novel will dazzle and horrify you, often in the same phrase. My highest recommendation.” —Tom Franklin, author of Smonk

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