Lawrence Hill Any Known Blood

ISBN 13: 9780006481355

Any Known Blood

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9780006481355: Any Known Blood

Spanning five generations, sweeping across a century and a half of almost unknown history, this acclaimed and unexpectedly funny novel is the story of a man seeking himself in the mirror of his family's past.

There were Canes in Canada before the United States erupted into civil war. Their roots are deep, their legacy is rich, but Langston Cane V knows little of his heritage. He is thirty-eight, divorced, and childless and has just been fired for sabotaging a government official's speech. The eldest son of a white mother and prominent black father, Langston feels more acutely than ever the burden of his illustrious family name and his racially mixed heritage. To be black in a white society is hard enough; to be half-black, half-white is to have no identity at all. Or so Langston believes. After a run-in with his father, Langston takes off for his feisty aunt's house in Baltimore, where he embarks on a remarkable quest for his family's past.

It's said that those who forget history are condemned to repeat it, but to Langston, history offers not condemnation but reprieve. For when he stumbles across a treasure trove of family documents, he sets off on a journey through time that will lead him back to the famous antislavery raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and the great-great-grandfather who fought beside John Brown. He rediscovers the long line of relatives who have battled for racial justice, decade after decade. He finds passion, dignity, and courage--and, at last, by unearthing and giving voice to those who came before him, he finds himself.

Rich in historical detail and gracefully flowing from the slave trade of nineteenth-century Virginia to the present, Any Known Blood gives life to a story never before told, a story of five generations of a black Canadian family whose tragedies and victories merge with the American experience.

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About the Author:

LAWRENCE HILL is the award-winning and internationally bestselling author of The Book of Negroes, which was made into a six-part TV mini-series. His previous novels, Some Great Thing and Any Known Blood, became national bestsellers. Hill’s non-fiction work includes Blood: The Stuff of Life, the subject of his 2013 Massey Lectures, and Black Berry, Sweet Juice, a memoir about growing up black and white in Canada. Lawrence Hill volunteers with Crossroads International, the Black Loyalist Heritage Society and Project Bookmark Canada. He lives with his family in Hamilton, Ontario, and Woody Point, Newfoundland.

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From Publishers Weekly:

The son of a black man and a white woman, the down-and-out narrator of Hill's substantial, historically inflected novel, struggles to determine his identity in racially polarized Canada and within his own well-educated, upwardly mobile family. At 39, Langston Cane V is divorced, childless, uprooted, and a failed writer. Prompted by an elderly mentor to write about his forebear's illustrious past, Langston decides to investigate the family lore that claims the first Langston Cane died fighting alongside John Brown at Harpers Ferry in 1859. His research takes him to Baltimore, where half the family lives?among them his tough-talking, corpulent Aunt Milly, who's kept her distance from Langston's side of the Cane clan since Langston's parents' marriage. As he pieces together the puzzle of the past through Milly's stories, diary entries, newspaper clippings, letters and ephemera, Langston's own life appears in sharper focus. His Virgil in urban education is Yoyo, an entrepreneuring Cameroonian illegal immigrant. Langston survives a drive-by shooting, experiences a sexual rejuvenation with a young woman from Milly's church and discovers an old scandal involving his aunt. Hill's (Some Great Thing) generous spirit expands over a wide and variegated landscape of human relations; he forgives oppression and reconciles himself to history with surprising equanimity. His straightforward, good-humored prose, however, seems too deferent to the richness of the story being told. A touch of lyricism would limber up this lengthy work. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Hill, Lawrence
Published by Harperperennial
ISBN 10: 0006481353 ISBN 13: 9780006481355
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