THE EDEN HUNTER
In 1816, five years after being captured and sold into slavery, Kau, a pygmy tribesman, flees south into the Spanish Florida wilderness, determined to find a place where he can once again live in harmony with nature. Both haunted and driven by his memories of Africa, he embarks on an epic quest through the treacherous pinewoods, swamps, and river bottoms of the Southern frontier. He encounters renegades and thieves, traitors and mercenaries, and the dark prophetic magic of the forest before he finally finds himself within the walls of a remote fort on the Apalachicola River. There, he becomes the reluctant companion of several hundred runaway slaves once recruited by the British to fight in the War of 1812, then abandoned to fend for themselves against the American forces intent on destroying their remarkable stronghold. Inspired by actual historical events, and at times both violent and beautiful, The Eden Hunter is the amazing story of a man's journey into the turbulent forces of a torn and fragmented land. (Counterpoint, August 2010)
Skip Horack is the author of the novel The Eden Hunter (2010) and the story collection The Southern Cross, winner of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference 2008 Bakeless Fiction Prize. His work has also appeared in Oxford American, Epoch, The Southern Review, Narrative Magazine, and elsewhere. He is a former Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, where he was also a Wallace Stegner Fellow. A native of Louisiana and a graduate of Florida State University, Horack is an assistant professor of creative writing at Auburn University.
The sixteen short stories featured in Skip Horack’s prize-winning debut collection paint a richly textured vision of the American South. Set in the Gulf Coast over the course of a year torn halfway by the arrival of Hurricane Katrina, these stories, filled with humor, restraint, and verve, follow the lives of an assembly of unforgettable characters. An exonerated ex-con who may not be entirely innocent, a rabbit farmer in mourning, and an earnest young mariner trying to start a new life with his wife—all are characters that populate the spirited cities and drowsy parishes in Horack’s marvelous portrait of the South. "A knockout winner" for guest judge Antonya Nelson, The Southern Cross marks the arrival of a standout new voice. (Mariner Books, August 2009)
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