“We all set our sights on the Great American Novel. . . . [Thomas Maltman] comes impressively close to laying his hands on the grail.”—Madison Smartt Bell, The Boston Globe
“Maltman’s prose and pacing flow from an expert hand. . . . His gaze is unflinching and balanced. . . . And while there is much loss in the novel, in the end there is salvation.”—Robin Vidimos, Denver Post
“Maltman’s writing is most lucid when he explores the German folklore, Dakota mysticism, and pioneer spirituality that shape his characters’ understanding of their own harsh world.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Thomas Maltman’s debut novel, The Night Birds, soars and sings like a feathered angel.”—Chicago Sun-Times
“[Maltman] excels at giving even his most harrowing scenes an understated realism and at painting characters who are richly, sometimes disturbingly human. The novel sustains its tension right to the moment it ends.”—Publishers Weekly (starred)
“[A] flawless sense of history marked by its most revealing—and harrowing—details.”—Booklist
The intertwining story of three generations of German immigrants to the Midwest—their clashes with slaveholders, the Dakota uprising and its aftermath—is seen through the eyes of young Asa Senger, named for an uncle killed by an Indian friend. It is the unexpected appearance of Asa’s aunt Hazel, institutionalized since shortly after the mass hangings of thirty-eight Dakota warriors in Mankato in 1862, that reveals to him that the past is as close as his own heartbeat.
Thomas Maltman lives in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. This is his first novel.
From the Trade Paperback edition.show more