Gloryland: A Novel
Born on Emancipation Day, 1863, to a sharecropping family of African and Indian blood, Elijah Yancy never lived as a slave, but his self-image as a free person is at war with his surroundings: Spartanburg, South Carolina, in the Reconstructed South. Exiled for his own survival as a teenager, Elijah walks west to the Nebraska plains and, like other rootless young African-American men of that era, joins the U.S. Cavalry.
The trajectory of Elijah's army career parallels the nation's imperial adventures in the late nineteenth century: subduing Native Americans in the West and quelling rebellion in the Philippines. Haunted by the terrors endured by black Americans and by his part in persecuting other people of color, Elijah is sustained only by visions, memories, prayers, and his questing spirit - which ultimately finds a home when his troop is posted to guard the newly created Yosemite National Park in 1903. Here, living with little beyond mountain light, cold rivers, campfires, and stars, he becomes a man who owns himself completely, while knowing he's left pieces of himself scattered along his life's path like pebbles on a creek bed.
Novelist Shelton Johnson wove Elijah's story from his own family's past, and from the threads of history he found while researching the role of buffalo soldiers in Yosemite. His narrator's voice - poetic, rhythmically cadenced, ranging freely through time - makes this novel a literary meditation on finding a self and a spiritual home, while unveiling a little-known chapter of America's past.
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Review: Gloryland: A NovelUser Review - Goodreads
Third time through was a good as the first. A stunning historical novel that really takes you to the time and place. You see. You feel. You smell. You taste. This is a book that must be read slowly and savored. Buy it. You'll want to highlight and reread sections over and over.
Review: GlorylandUser Review - Goodreads
I bought this book in the Yosemite NP bookstore after spending a week in Yosemite and before a long train trip. The book is much about Yosemite in the end and I loved knowing the scenery that the ...
Telegraph Island: Jason Smiley Stewart-My Life Story, Volume 2
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No preview available - 2007