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July 1998


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Bob Arnold <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 20 Jul 1998 11:08:09 -0400
text/plain (80 lines)
Has anyone done a bibliography of historical novels centered on New York State?  I would be looking for stuff starting with Cooper, working through Irving Batchellor and Walter D. Edmonds and reaching to one that I would add to Sara's suggestions, Peter Quinn's Banished Children of Eve, a Doctorow-like treatment of the New York City Draft Riots. 

I liked Michael Pye's book a lot. 

>>> Sara Gronim <[log in to unmask]> 07/19 6:11 PM >>>
Sara S. Gronim
Dept. of History
Rutgers University
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Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 18:07:36 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sara Gronim <[log in to unmask]>
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Subject: historical novels
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Dear all,

I was intrigued by the reference to a David Eddings novel set it the 1770s
in Cherry Valley.  I'm fascinated by fictional treatments of history.
Could the original sender of the message give us the name of the book?
Nothing resembling it is in my local library.  (I'm assuming this is the
David Eddings who writes science fiction.)

By way of trade, here's a couple of my favorite novels that use New York
as an historical setting:

Michael Pye, The Drowning Room (Penguin, 1995): a slim but absorbing work
using the life of a real person, Gretje Reyniers, who appears vividly in a
couple of court cases in 1630s/1640s New Netherland.  Pye moves from
Amsterdam to New Amsterdam in his novel, a novel which creates an early
modern world very different from the modern.

Octavia Butler, Wild Seed (can't put my hands on it right now, but I'd
guess late 70s.) Butler is a science fiction writer (so that's where
you'll find it in your library/bookstore--it's always in print) who writes
utopian earth-based science fiction (as opposed to
science fiction.)  Part of this novel is set in Africa and part in the
18th c. Hudson valley where she creates a kind of Afro-Dutch Eden.  It's
not the history that we actually have, but it is the history we wish we
had, which (I think) is her point.  A lovely, fascinating read.


Sara S. Gronim
Dept. of History
Rutgers University
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