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A novel about the remarkable people living on the edge of freedom and slavery, All God’s Children brings to life the paradoxes of the American frontier – a place of liberty and bondage, wild equality, and cruel injustice.
In 1827, Duncan Lammons, a disgraced young man from Kentucky, sets out to join the American army in the province of Texas, hoping that here he may live – and love – as he pleases. That same year, Cecelia, a young slave in Virginia, runs away for the first time.
Soon infamous for her escape attempts, Cecelia drifts through the reality of slavery – until she encounters frontiersman Sam Fisk, who rescues her from a slave auction in New Orleans.
In spite of her mistrust, Cecelia senses an opportunity for freedom, and travels with Sam to Texas, where he has a homestead. In this new territory, where the law is an instrument for the cruel and the wealthy, they begin an unlikely life together, unaware that their fates are intertwined with those of Sam’s former army mates including Duncan Lammons, a friend – and others who harbor dangerous dreams of their own.
This novel will take its place among the great stories that recount the country’s fight for freedom – one that makes us want to keep on with the struggle.
Praise for All God’s Children:
“In his new book, Aaron Gwyn gives us a vivid and piercing depiction of America when it was young and expanding, and of the myriad cruelties and lies that it was built upon. All God’s Children is a page-turner, a tour de force, and a brilliantly savage novel that you will be reckoning with long after you have put it down.”—Nick Arvin, author of Mad Boy and Articles of War
“All God’s Children is an enthralling historical novel that presents a vision of the American West. Gwyn's prose is both raw and captivating, and what results is the moving story of the lives of Duncan, Sam, and Cecilia. I couldn't put it down.”—Brandon Hobson, National Book Award finalist and author of The Removed
“All God’s Children is a riveting work of historical vision. Once again, Gwyn has crafted a tale that is as tragic as it is gorgeous.”—Smith Henderson, PEN-Award winning author of Fourth of July Creek
Praise for Aaron Gwyn:
“Aaron Gwyn claims his place among the ranks of great American novelists with this richly drawn historical epic. A masterpiece.”—Philipp Meyer, author of The Son
“Mr. Gwyn depicts the eventful mission with tight dramatic control and a flair for suspenseful twists, and the same ambiguities that surround John Wayne's ruthlessly single-minded Ethan Edwards.”—The Wall Street Journal
“In Gwyn’s expert hands, nothing, including good or evil, is ever so simple.”—Caroline Leavitt, The Boston Globe
“The book’s pacing is cinematic, and it echoes adrenalized silver-screen war stories like “Three Kings” and “The Hurt Locker,” as well as the gentler cross-species concerns of “The Horse Whisperer.”—John Williams, The New York Times
“A work of narrative alchemy, a prose smelter brimming with horses, soldiers, heroism, villainy, horrific violence and unexpected tenderness. … If you find tear stains on your shoulders when you turn the last page, they are likely yours, shed out of the sadness that only comes when you wish there were pages left to turn.”—The Houston Chronicle
★ “Dog on the Cross is a gripping tale of men at war, and captures the essence of close combat—the terror, excitement, chaos, tension, and cruelty, as well as the harsh decisions men make under stress…its gritty realism is part of the strength.” —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
∙ Readers of well-researched US historical fiction;
∙ Readers interested in frontier and Western stories told from fresh, often-overlooked perspectives;
∙ Readers wishing to place modern US culture into its historical context;
∙ For readers of Inland by Tea Obrecht; The Son by Philippe Meyer; The Sacco Gang by Andrea Camilleri; News of the World by Paulette Giles
KEY SELLING POINTS
∙ A historical novel about contemporary America, slavery, gay rights
∙ Author’s previous novels were well-reviewed by NYT, Wall Street Journal, etc.
∙ Focus on typically marginalized characters in a genre that too often understates their impact in American history
∙ Impeccable historical research combined with lyrical writing and exciting plot will appeal to a broad range of readers
∙ Pub date timed to coincide with election, as people become increasingly aware and vocal about the importance of these themes