Canaan: A Novel

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2007 - Fiction - 426 pages
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Canaan fills a vast canvas. Its points of reference are Richmond in the throes of Reconstruction; the trading floors of Wall Street, where men makes fortunes speculating on the war’s consequences; a Virginia plantation, where the ruin of the South is written in wrenching detail; and the Great Plains, where the splendidly arrogant George Custer rides to his fate against Sitting Bull’s warriors. This is the story of America over twenty years of its most turbulent history. The characters are black, white, red, ex-Union, and ex-Confederate; and the principal narrator is a Santee woman, She Goes Before, who marries an ex-slave. Through her eyes we witness the hanging of her father by whites in the mass execution of 1863, Red Cloud’s banquet with President Grant, and that final confrontation on the bluffs above the Little Bighorn. “McCaig’s extensive research is revealed in the book’s rich historical detail and revisionist perspective. Black life in Reconstruction-era Virginia is portrayed particularly well.”—Library Journal

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User Review  - ShouldIReadIt - LibraryThing

A sequel, in a way, to "Jacob's Ladder" as it continues the story of those characters. Luckily I'd already read "Jacob's Ladder," or I would've been lost with all the various characters' memories ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

In the wake of the Civil War, blacks and whites struggle to make sense of their changed lives; out West, Indians struggle against the Washitu (whites).McCaig's latest, covering the years 1865 to 1876 ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Donald McCaig, the author of Jacob’s Ladder, Rhett Butler’s People and Canaan. He and his wife, Anne, work a sheep farm in the western mountains of Virginia.

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