Ernest Hebert, novelist and Dartmouth professor of writing, has taken to the open road for a book tour with stops at about 15 Book Sense stores. His work of historical fiction, The Old American (Hardscrabble, University Press of New England), set in the New England frontier during the French and Indian Wars, is based on the true story of an English settler kidnapped by an Algonkian king, Caucus-Meteor.
The critically acclaimed work, just published in paper, artfully creates a complex and believable Native American character in Caucus-Meteor and explores his relationship with his captive, Nathan Blake. The cloth edition of the book was a March/April 2001 Book Sense 76 pick.
Blake founded Hebert's hometown of Keene, New Hampshire, built the town's first log house, in 1736, and the first timber frame dwelling for a tribe of nomads in Canada.
Hebert's cross-country tour, visiting independents, reflects his fascination with the development of American culture. He also noted that he has a daughter in Seattle who he wanted to visit and thought that there might be some nice bookstores between New Hampshire and Washington.
University Press of New England's sales manager, Sherri Strickland, told BTW that Hebert's tour begins on February 2 in Minneapolis and ends in Georgia in mid-March. "We decided to focus on independent bookstores," Strickland said, "and to focus on the people who elected his book into the Book Sense 76 last March/April."