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From the widely acclaimed author of Dvorak in Love and The Engineer of Human Souls comes an unusual Civil War novel based on the documented memories of Czech soldiers who fought for the Union in the 26th Wisconsin battalion under General William Tecumseh Sherman.
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Czech
Toronto-based Czech writer Skvorecky's audacious, romantic, sprawling saga of Czech-Americans fighting and loving in the U.S. Civil War confirms his reputation as a risk-taking novelist. Here, as in Dvorak in Love and The Engineer of Human Souls, he skillfully melds sociopolitical insight, absurdist humor and tragedy. Skvorecky's new heroine, Moravian Lida Toupelik?her elopement squelched by a father who whips her?forsakes her Czech lover and migrates, pregnant and disgraced, to Texas, where she foolishly marries Etienne de Ribordeaux, the bourbon-drenched, aristocratic, one-legged son of a plantation owner. Lida's brother Cyril, a soldier (along with many other Czech-Americans) in General William Tecumseh Sherman's devastating march through the South, has a love affair with Dinah, a free-spirited slave whom Etienne had coerced into having sex years earlier. Around these hothouse parallel romances, which end tragically, Skvorecky re-creates the lives, adventures, homesickness and struggles of a disparate group of Czech-American soldiers who, far from their native land, which was then under Austrian despotism, fought for national unity and the liberation of the slaves. Most of the Czech-born soldiers and civilians portrayed?in Chicago, New York, Texas, Savannah?actually lived. Skvorecky inserts well-known historical figures as well, most prominently Sherman, whom the author sympathetically depicts as a patriot who scorched enemy land to shorten the war. Lincoln's hapless General Ambrose Burnside also appears, as does the peace-mongering, anti-abolitionist Ohio congressman Clement Vallandigham, arrested by the U.S. Army as a traitor in 1863. Skvorecky's stunning novel shows us the Civil War, race relations, slavery and melting-pot America in a fresh and often startling light.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Knopf, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110679444114
Book Description Knopf, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. 2nd Edition. Seller Inventory # DADAX0679444114
Book Description Knopf, 1996. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0679444114
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-0679444114