9780871138439 / 0871138433

Lost Nation


Publisher:Atlantic Monthly Pr



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About the book:

Jeffrey Lent's first novel, In the Fall, was a national best-seller and was celebrated as one of the best books of 2000. Hailed as "majestic ...epic ... vital" by The New York Times Book Review and compared to the works of William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy by Newsweek, the debut landed its author squarely in the company of the best American novelists of the day. Lost Nation resoundingly confirms Jeffrey Lent's place in that pantheon. Set in the early nineteenth century, Lost Nation opens with a man known only as Blood guiding an oxcart of rum toward the wild country high in New Hampshire, an ungoverned territory called the Indian Stream -- a land where the luckless or outlawed have made a fresh start. Blood is a man of contradictions, of learning and wisdom, but also a man with a secret past that has scorched his soul. He sets forth to establish himself as a trader, hauling with him Sally, a sixteen-year-old girl won from the madam of a brothel over a game of cards. Their arrival in Indian Stream triggers an escalating series of clashes that serve to sever the master-servant bond between them and presents both a second chance at life. But as the conflicts within the community spill over and attract the attention of outside authorities, Blood becomes a target for those seeking easy blame for the troubles. As plots unravel and violence escalates, two young men of uncertain identity appear, and Blood is forced to confront dread apparitions of his past while Sally is offered a final escape. Lost Nation is a vivid tale of unexpected strengths, terrible and sad misconceptions, and the yearning toward civil society in a landscape raw and with little pity for human strivings. In prose both lucid and seductive, it carries us deeply into human and natural conditions of extreme desolation and harrowing hardship, but also gives us the relentless beat of hope and, finally, the redeeming capacity of love.

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