in the American Civil War. I don't really care for the statistics, battle sites and monuments. I grew tired of being called a Yankee when I lived in the South.
It was that damned Joseph O'Connor. I read Star of the Sea and Redemption Falls last spring. They were shape-changing spirits - haunting, dark and beautiful. They are, for me, the finest stories ever written.*
It's because of the lingering curiosities that these two books etched into me that I got so engrossed when I heard Adam Goodheart discuss the premise of 1861: The Civil War Awakening on NPR that I was captivated.
O'Connor paints delicately nuanced vignettes of the society of war-time America. Goodheart's book, I think, will fill in the cracks in the joints. I'm really looking forward to this as a study of social history.
*I'm no expert, but I am a literary snob. I slogged 4 years in a Literary Theory minor degree (so very useful and lucrative) during my undergraduate studies, (whilst learning to write lots of compound, annotated, passive-voice and run-on sentences) so I read book after book, and these are simply my favorites. Yes, I think you should read them. Read his entire catalog, in fact. He's poetic and quite funny.