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The Black Flower is the gripping story of a young Confederate rifleman from Mississippi named Bushrod Carter, who serves in General John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee during the Civil War battle that takes place in Franklin, Tennessee, in November 1864. Written with reverent attention to historical accuracy, the book vividly documents the fear, suffering, and intense friendships that are all present on the eve of the battle and during its aftermath. When Bushrod is wounded in the Confederate charge, he is taken to a makeshift hospital where he comes under the care of Anna, who has already lost two potential romances to battle. Bushrod and Anna's poignant attempt to forge a bond of common humanity in the midst of the pathos and horror of battle serves as a powerful reminder that the war that divided America will not vanish quietly into the page of history.
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Howard Bahr compresses this moving Civil War novel into 48 hours--two short days filled with grim deaths and the prelude, at least, to a love story. First issued by a small Baltimore press in 1997,The Black Flower was nominated for four major awards, including one from the Academy of Arts and Letters, but failed to garner the attention paid to Cold Mountain. Civil War buffs will rejoice in Bahr's vivid retelling of the November 1864 Battle of Franklin, Tennessee. More to the point, The Black Flower transcends its historical fiction niche and deserves a wider audience. Confederate rifleman Bushrod Carter, the novel's protagonist, is wounded during the battle and taken to a nearby house. In this makeshift hospital, he and two childhood friends huddle together, "shivering with cold and exhaustion, ignoring the ghostly shapes still shuffling through the coiling smoke around them, calling the names of men who would never answer." Bahr has poured 20 years of research into his novel, but this haunting portrayal of suffering and death is the product not merely of historical diligence but also an impressive literary imagination. --Eugenia TrinkleAbout the Author:
Howard Bahr was born in Meridian, Mississippi. From 1982 to 1993 he was curator of Rowan Oak, the William Faulkner homestead and museum in Oxford, Mississippi. Since 1993 he has taught English at Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma, Tennessee. His new novel is The Year of the Jublio (Henry Holt).
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