Synopses & Reviews
In 1816, five years after being captured and sold into slavery, Kau, a pygmy tribesman, flees south into the Spanish Florida wilderness, determined to find a place where he can once again live in harmony with nature. Both haunted and driven by his memories of Africa, he embarks on an epic quest through the treacherous pinewoods, swamps, and river bottoms of the Southern frontier. He encounters renegades and thieves, traitors and mercenaries, and the dark prophetic magic of the forest before he finally finds himself within the walls of a remote fort on the Apalachicola River. There, he becomes the reluctant companion of several hundred runaway slaves once recruited by the British to fight in the War of 1812, then abandoned to fend for themselves against the American forces intent on destroying their remarkable stronghold.
Inspired by actual events, and at times both violent and beautiful, The Eden Hunter provides a fascinating glimpse at a forgotten, bloody chapter in our nation's history through the eyes of one truly remarkable hero.
"Louisiana-born Horack's novel (after The Southern Cross collection) offers a stylish, fast-paced, historical narrative based on an 1816 slave insurrection. Spanish slave traders enter the Congo and purchase a captured Pygmy named Kau, transporting him to Pensacola, Fla., where he's sold to an innkeeper. Five years later, Kau kills the innkeeper's son and flees into the wilds of southern Florida. Along his wilderness trek, Kau regrets the murder, yearns for his family in Africa, and encounters a 'Negro fort' on the Apalachicola River built by General GarÃ§on. The remote fort's ostentatious 'genius' commander befriends the diminutive Kau, who is allowed to take an escaped slave as his mate. The American victory in the War of 1812 makes GarÃ§on, an ally of the British, a target of the imminent American invasion. While sympathetic to the slaves' desire to be free, Kau realizes the slim chance for success against the Americans; he's more inclined to follow his heart and 'live quietly' in Florida than stand with GarÃ§on. This diminutive man serves as a watchful protagonist in Horack's crisp, vivid tale. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Inspired by actual historical events occurring after the turn of the 19th century, and at turns both violent and beautiful, "The Eden Hunter" is the amazing story of a man's journey into the turbulent forces of a torn and fragmented America.
About the Author
Skip Horack is the author of the story collection The Southern Cross
. He is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford, where he was also a Wallace Stegner Fellow. A native of Louisiana, and a graduate of Florida State University, he now lives in San Francisco.