A Confederate soldier confronts the horror of battle and the power of grace in this “poignant, haunting, and important” novel of the Civil War (The Tennessean, Nashville).
A New York Times Notable Book and Winner of the William Boyd Award for Best Military Novel
In November 1864, Gen. John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee prepares to launch an assault on Union forces near Franklin, Tennessee. Dirty, exhausted, and hungry, the Confederate soldiers form a line of battle across an open field. Among them stands Pvt. Bushrod Carter, a twenty-six-year-old rifleman from Cumberland, Mississippi. Against all odds, Bushrod has survived three years of war unscathed—but his luck is about to run out.
Wounded in the battle, Bushrod is taken to a makeshift hospital on a nearby plantation. There, he falls under the care of Anna Hereford, who bears her own scars from years of relentless bloodshed and tragedy. In the grisly aftermath of one of the Confederate army’s most disastrous campaigns, Anna and Bushrod seek salvation and understanding in each other. Their fragile bond carries with it the hope of a life beyond the war, and the risk of a pain too devastating to endure.
Written with profound empathy and meticulous attention to historical detail, The Black Flower brilliantly portrays the staggering human toll of America’s bloodiest conflict. In his award-winning debut novel, “Howard Bahr casts a tale of war as powerful as any you’ll ever find” (Southern Living).
About the author
Howard Bahr is the author of four novels: The Black Flower (1997), The Year of Jubilo (2000), The Judas Field (2006), and Pelican Road (2008). A native of Meridian, Mississippi, he served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War and worked for several years as a railroad yard clerk and brakeman. From 1982 to 1993, Bahr was curator of Rowan Oak, the William Faulkner homestead and museum in Oxford, Mississippi. His last post was as writer-in-residence at Belhaven University.
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