Canaan

Canaan Cover

Canaan

By Donald McCaig

W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393062465, 426pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2007

Description
A saga of post-Civil War America, from the defeat of the Confederacy to the Battle of Little Bighorn.
Canaan fills a vast canvas stretching north, south, and west from Appomattox. Its points of reference are Richmond in the throes of Reconstruction; the trading floors of Wall Street, where men who did not fight the war make fortunes speculating on its consequences; a Virginia plantation--familiar to readers of the author's critically acclaimed Jacob's Ladder--where the ruin of the South is written in wrenching detail; and the Great Plains, where the splendidly arrogant George Custer--Yellowhair--rides to his fate against Sitting Bull's warriors.
This is the story of America over twenty years of its most turbulent history. The characters are black, white, red, ex-Union, and ex-Confederate, and the principal narrator is a Santee woman, She Goes Before, who marries an ex-slave. Through her eyes we witness the hanging of her father by whites in the mass execution of 1863, Red Cloud's banquet with President Grant, and that final confrontation on the bluffs above the Little Bighorn.