|Format:||Hardback, 320 pages|
|Published In: ||United States, 01 May 2011|
In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, the author of the "New York Times" bestseller "People of the Book" has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure.
About the Author
Geraldine Brooks is the author of Year of Wonders and the nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Previously, Brooks was a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, stationed in Bosnia, Somalia, and the Middle East. END
In 1665 a young man from Marthas Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. This fragment of history is the basis for the latest novel by Pulitzer Prize winning author Geraldine Brooks. Calebs Crossing revolves around this young mans spiritual and intellectual elevation in the eyes of English society. Bearing witness to this civilising project is a minister s daughter, Bethia Mayfield, who, on the basis of gender, is denied the education she craves. Bethia and Caleb the son of a chieftain meet in the wilds of Marthas Vineyard as children and their clandestine but innocent encounters prove to be largely and mutually influential. Bethia teaches Caleb to read and strives to convert him to her Christian god, but he has just as much to offer her, as he shares island secrets and his native language. Caleb s wide eyed yet witty questioning of the Christian faith is compelling; their soulful and sweet exchanges are at the forefront of a quietly escalating tension between the native inhabitants and the gradually encroaching colonialists. As Bethia and Caleb grow older the divisions between them become more apparent; both are forced to subdue their natures in different ways. Bethias impending indenture as a housekeeper sparks a disagreement, which illuminates the diminishing options for both their futures. Such conversations between the pair evoke strong emotion and are a welcome release from the repression of Puritanism that dictates their behaviour. Reminiscent of Brooks debut novel Year of Wonders, wherein a bubonic plague outbreak is chronicled by an intelligent young maid, her latest fictional history sees Bethia grow from an uncertain minister s daughter-- striving for utter purity but plagued by doubt and failings--to a determined young woman who learns to exercise her intellect in whichever way she can. Bethias observation of Calebs triumphs and tribulations on the road to Harvard exposes both a warmth and distance between the pair. Her determination to document the role she plays in his journey bespeaks a desire for recognition. Calebs Crossing depicts the harshness of pioneer life and the rigidity of puritan values, tempered by the compassion and kindness of individuals. As the clash between cultures unfolds, loss of life, language and culture is a tragic inevitability that Bethia bears witness to on a personal level. Through the observations of a well-drawn protagonist Brooks conjures the disenfranchisement of an entire people. (See interview, page 38.) Portia Lindsay works at the UNSW Bookshop in Sydney
|Publisher: ||Viking Books|
|Dimensions: ||23.11 x 16.0 x 2.79 centimeters (0.52 kg)|