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From American master JamesLee Burke comes a novel set in Civil War-era Louisiana as the South disintegratesand a brilliant cast of characters - plantation gentry, enslaved women, andsoldiers from both sides - are caught in the maelstrom By the fall of 1863, theUnion army is in control of the Mississippi river. Much of Louisiana, includingNew Orleans and Baton Rouge, is occupied. The Confederate army is in disarray,corrupt old structures are falling apart, and enslaved men and women arebeginning to glimpse a prospect of freedom. Haunted by what he observed -and did - as a surgeon on the battlefield, Wade Lufkin has returned to hisuncle's plantation to convalesce, where he becomes enraptured by Hannah Laveau,a formerly enslaved woman still working on the plantation.

About the Author

James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke is an American author best known for his mysteries, particularly the series. He has twice received the Edgar Award for Best Novel, for in 1990 and in 1998. Burke was born in Houston, Texas, but grew up on the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast. He attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Missouri, receiving a BA and MA from the latter. He has worked at a wide variety of jobs over the years, including working in the oil industry, as a reporter, and as a social worker. He was Writer in Residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, succeeding his good friend and posthumous Pulitzer Prize winner John Kennedy Toole, and preceding Ernest Gaines in the position. Shortly before his move to Montana, he taught for several years in the Creative Writing program at Wichita State University in the 1980s. Burke and his wife, Pearl, split their time between Lolo, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana. Their daughter, Alafair Burke, is also a mystery novelist. The book that has influenced his life the most is the 1929 family tragedy "The Sound and the Fury" by William Faulkner.

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