About this title:
The tiny rural backwater of Dogtown, nestled on Cape Ann and hugging the Massachusetts coast line, is a place that is reputedly dying, but its few remaining inhabitants show an enduring spirit that keeps a small flame of life alight. For here, in this forgotten hamlet, lives a cast of dignified, yet utterly eccentric characters. Black Ruth is one of only two Africans still living in the area; she dresses as a man, speaks to no-one, and continues her craft as the local stonemason, casting love and care over the stones she hews. Mrs Stanley is blousey, blonde and the local madam; a woman of total self-absorption, who cares nothing for her young grandson, coming of age amid the sights and sounds of a wretched rural brothel. Oliver Younger, a man with ambition, overcomes a cruel and miserable childhood to marry the woman of his dreams and create a family infused with love. At the centre of it all is Judy Rhines, a fiercely independent woman, generous and wise, but also heartbroken and lonely, whose taboo love for Cornelius, a former slave, burns at the core of her soul. Loosely based on the true story of a community, "The Last Days of Dogtown" is a rich, compassionate and compelling novel which illuminates a small, but vivid, chapter of nineteenth century America.
About the Author:
Anita Diamant is the bestselling author of the novels The Red Tent, Good Harbor, and The Last Days of Dogtown, as well as the collection of essays, Pitching My Tent. An award-winning journalist whose work has appeared regularly in The Boston Globe Magazine and Parenting, she is the author of six nonfiction guides to contemporary Jewish life. She lives in Massachusetts. Her most recent novel is Day After Night. Visit her website at www.anitadiamant.com.
Kate Nelligan received Tony nominations for her performances in Spoils of War, Serious Money, A Moon for the Misbegotten, and Plenty, for which she also received the Olivier Award in London. Her films include How to Make an American Quilt, The Prince of Tides (Oscar nom), Frankie and Johnny (DW Griffith & British Academy Awards), Fatal Instinct, Eye of the Needle, Eleni, and White Room. She received an Emmy nomination for her performance on the television series The Road to Avonlea.
Anita Diamant's stark sketch of a group of society's throwaways focuses on the once promising community of Dogtown, near Gloucester, Mass. By 1814, the area is reduced to broken-down hovels populated by wild dogs, whores, emancipated slaves, destitute widows and orphans, who survive by wile, duplicity, and sheer force of will. Kate Nelligan's performance highlights these examples of human resilience, from Black Ruth, an African woman who dresses like a man; to Tammy, a vicious old woman who torments her orphaned nephew; to Judy, whose taboo love affair with Cornelius, a freed slave, is fraught with danger. With unsentimental eloquence, Nelligan embodies the free-thinking spirit of these New Englanders and handles individual joys and tragedies with compassion. A fascinating book and an extraordinary performance. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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