Tilghman, Christopher / On The Tobacco Coast: A Novel

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SKU: Tilghman, Christopher / On The Tobacco Coast: A Novel / 9780374226060
VENDOR CODE:9780374226060
AUTHOR:Tilghman, Christopher


Christopher Tilghman is professor emeritus of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia.

The culmination of Christopher Tilghman's great Chesapeake saga, a story spanning four centuries of an American family.

It is the Fourth of July 2019, and the Mason family is gathering at their historic Chesapeake farm, Mason's Retreat. It isn't everyone's favorite party, but Harry Mason has once again goaded his wife, Kate, and their children into hosting a celebratory dinner. Their oldest, Rosalie, is having trouble with her marriage; the youngest, Ethan, is in the throes of a fitful first relationship. In between, Eleanor despairs over her stalled novel, a fictionalized memoir of the wife of the first Mason settler who landed there in 1659.

Kate, recovering from a second round of chemotherapy, is at the center of this ritual of remembrance. Tart and candid, she asks her husband, "What crime against humanity did your family not commit on that land?" And so it is more or less inevitable that when the clan, joined by a cast of neighbors and cousins from France, sits down for dinner, the question of how they should think and feel about their past comes to the fore.

Told with irony and deep insight, On the Tobacco Coast is Christopher Tilghman's concluding meditation on the themes of his novels about this ancestral monument: the pride and shame in its long history, the persistence of family stories, race and privilege, the enigmas and customs of regions. It is a reflects on the state of America today, with its battles with its own history and efforts to reckon with the wrongs of the past while looking forward to an uncertain, more just future.



Farrar, Straus and Giroux

April 2024



Tilghman, Christopher / On The Tobacco Coast: A Novel

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