A baby, a black hired hand, a bay horse, a gun, and a neighbor have all gone missing in the same corner of the Cherokee Nation West. Cherokee America Singer, known as Check, is none too pleased with these developments. As a wealthy farmer, the mother of five boys, and the matriarch of her family, she’s accustomed to wielding authority. And she’s determined to find out what’s going on.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, complex alliances and simmering race and culture clashes unite and divide the people living on Cherokee lands. Tensions mount and violence escalates, and the long arm of white law encroaches further into Indian Territory. Determined to survive and thrive on their own terms after decades of betrayal and hardship, Check’s family, friends, and neighbors must come together to avenge a crime, outwit federal authorities, and protect their sovereignty.
Inspired by Margaret Verble’s family history and written with dry humor and a lot of heart, Cherokee America is a different kind of Western, one told from a Native American point of view and with a mixed-race woman at its center. Check—member of a distinguished Cherokee family, daughter of a famous soldier and a slaveholder, wife of an abolitionist—is a necessary, revelatory addition to the literature of the American frontier.
Praise For Cherokee America…
"Verble has given historical fiction lovers a real gift: 'Cherokee America' is an excellent illustration of how diverse books enrich literature, and the minds of those who read them."--New York Times Book Review
“Cherokee America does what all the best historical fiction does—it vividly captures its particular time and place, yet simultaneously offers valuable insights about our own era. Margaret Verble is an exceptional storyteller, and this novel will enhance her already considerable literary reputation.”—Ron Rash, author of Serena
"Highly recommended for readers of literary historical fiction in the vein of Lalita Tademy's Citizen's Creek and Paulette Jiles's News of the World."--Library Journal, STARRED review
"In Verble’s hands, this tale of a mother’s love and her gritty resolve in a shameful era of false promises and broken treaties makes for a rich, propulsive novel."--Publishers Weekly
"An impressive, historical saga of Native American life in the mid-19th century."--BookPage
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9781328494221, 400pp.
Publication Date: February 19, 2019
About the Author
MARGARET VERBLE is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Her first novel, Maud’s Line, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her second novel, Cherokee America, has recently been listed by the New York Times as one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year for 2019. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky.