Argall

Volume 3 of Seven Dreams: A Book of North American Landscapes

By William T. Vollmann
(Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670910304, 736pp.)

Publication Date: October 1, 2001

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Description
For the past ten years William T. Vollmann has been working on one of the most ambitious novelistic projects of his generation: a seven-volume series of novels (Seven Dreams) that examines the repeated collisions between Native Americans and European colonizers and oppressors. Thus far, three novels have been published: The Ice-Shirt, Fathers and Crows, and The Rifles.

In Argall, the third book in the series and the fourth to be published, Vollmann alternates between extravagant Elizabethan language and gritty realism in an attempt to imagine what the lives of John Smith, Pocahontas, and their contemporaries might really have been like. Behind all of these characters stands the terrifying figure of Captain Samuel Argall, who will abduct Pocahontas, burn Indian towns, and bring black slavery to North America. This magnificent novel digs beneath the romantic legend of Pocahontas and the betrayals, disappointments, and atrocities behind it, offering a moving tale of dispossession that will appeal to fans of history and contemporary fiction alike.

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