Verse this may be, but it is at the same time a historical novel if not a fictional biography. Hudgins's subjector protagonist, if you willis Georgia-born poet and musician Sidney Lanier (1842-81), a one-time resident of Hudgins's native Montgomery, Ala. Lanier fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War; at war's end he returned home to the barren, poverty-stricken South, but never recovered entirely from his injuries. He died at the age of 40. Hudgins's version of events is an inquiry into the soul of the South as much as of the poet. He conjures up landscapes, voices, culture; his account of the war's carnage and brutality is as horrifying as anything in the literature of war. The character of Lanier is so full, rich and subtly human, we feel his grief so strongly, it seems that the Civil War and Reconstruction were only yesterday. As a marriage of poetry and fiction, this highly readable narrative combines the best of both forms into an intensely moving history. Hudgins's Saints and Strangers was nominated for a 1986 Pulitzer prize; this second book is also an epic achievement. (January 19)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988 Release date: 01/01/1988 Genre: Fiction
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