Creek Mary's Blood: A Novel

Open Road Media
10
Free sample

The New York Times–bestselling saga of Creek Indian Mary Musgrove and her descendants, whose lives parallel the American story through two centuries.
 In Creek Mary’s Blood, Dee Brown fictionalizes the astonishing true story of Mary Musgrove—born in 1700 to a Creek tribal chief—and five generations of her family. By tracing her struggles with colonists in Georgia, and then the lives of her two sons (one born to a white trader and the other to a Cherokee warrior), Brown’s novel creates a gripping panorama of the American Indian experience in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His narrative spans colonial rebellion, the Trail of Tears, and the Civil War—in which Mary’s descendants fought on both sides of the conflict.

Rich with historical detail and human drama, this is a novel filled with “dark, inexorable energy” by the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
 This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dee Brown including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Oct 23, 2012
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Pages
480
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ISBN
9781453274279
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Biographical
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Native American & Aboriginal
Fiction / Sagas
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Adopted into the Cherokee tribe as a teenager, William Holland Thomas (1805–1893), known to the Cherokees as Wil Usdi (Little Will), went on to have a distinguished career as lawyer, politician, and soldier. He spent the last decades of his life in a mental hospital, where the pioneering ethnographer James Mooney interviewed him extensively about Cherokee lifeways. The true story of Wil Usdi’s life forms the basis for this historical novella, the final published work of fiction by the late award-winning Cherokee author Robert J. Conley.

Conley tells Wil’s story through the recollection of the old man’s memories. Wil learns the Cherokee language while working at a trading post. The chief Yonaguska adopts the fatherless Wil, seeing to it that the boy dresses like a Cherokee and, for all practical purposes, becomes one. Later, representing the Eastern Band of the Cherokees in their negotiations with the federal government, Wil helps them remain in their ancestral lands in North Carolina when most other Cherokees are sent off on the Trail of Tears to the Indian Territory. Thus, Wil becomes popularly known as the white chief of the tribe. He continues making money as a merchant and in 1848 is elected to the North Carolina state senate, where he assists in the creation of a railroad system to serve the copper mines in neighboring Tennessee. During the Civil War, he leads a Cherokee battalion in the Confederate Army and tries to persuade his cousin Jefferson Davis to expand the battalion of fierce warriors into a regiment. His achievements make his admission into an insane asylum all the more tragic.

The Wil Usdi of Conley’s story is in increasingly bad health, mistreated in a mental institution that to twenty-first-century readers is little more than a jail. He dreams of women and warfare and boyhood games of stickball. Yet even in his demented state, Wil is proud of his accomplishments and never loses his conviction that Indians are “more human than whites.” Weaving together the disconnected stories of Wil Usdi’s life, Conley’s blend of thorough research and imaginative prose gives readers a deep sense of post-removal Cherokee history.
Hailed as “the finest depiction of the infamous Trail of Tears,” this unflinching novel sheds light on a tragic history (Pat Conroy).

As the tribes of the South make the grueling journey across the Mississippi River, a trio of disparate characters is united by a “far-reaching story of love, courage, and honor” (Booklist).

Greensborough, North Carolina, 1828. Abrahan Bento Sassaporta Naggar has traveled to America from the filthy streets of East London in search of a better life. But Abe’s visions of a privileged apprenticeship in the Sassaporta Brothers’ empire are soon replaced with the grim reality of indentured servitude.

Some fifty miles west, Dark Water of the Mountains, the daughter of a powerful Cherokee chief, leads a life of irreverent solitude. Twenty years ago, she renounced her family’s plans for her to marry a wealthy white man—a decision that soon proves fateful.

And in Georgia, a black slave named Jacob has resigned himself to a life of loss and injustice in a Cherokee city of refuge for criminals.

From the author of Marching to Zion and One More River comes a sweeping novel of American history. As their stories converge in the shameful machinations of history, three outsiders will bear witness to the horrors known as Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act—just as they also discover the possibility for hope. See why Library Journal raves, “This absorbing and vivid portrait of 19th-century America will attract serious historical fiction fans.”
 
ONE OF THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

WINNER OF THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE

One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, NPR, Time, O, The Oprah Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Entertainment Weekly, The Boston Globe, GQ, The Dallas Morning News, Buzzfeed, BookPage, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews   

NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLER 

Tommy Orange’s “groundbreaking, extraordinary” (The New York Times) There There is the “brilliant, propulsive” (People Magazine) story of twelve unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. It’s “the year’s most galvanizing debut novel” (Entertainment Weekly).
 
As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow—some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent—momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle’s memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and will to perform in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss.
 
There There is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen. It’s “masterful . . . white-hot . . . devastating” (The Washington Post) at the same time as it is fierce, funny, suspenseful, thoroughly modern, and impossible to put down. Here is a voice we have never heard—a voice full of poetry and rage, exploding onto the page with urgency and force. Tommy Orange has written a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide. This is the book that everyone is talking about right now, and it’s destined to be a classic.
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