Chasing the North Star by Robert Morgan
“Chasing the North Star by Robert Morgan is the gripping and convincing story of a bright and courageous slave in the American South during the 1850s who runs away seeking freedom. Richly imaginative and thoroughly well-researched, Chasing the North Star walks the reader through an extensive and thrilling escape filled with fiery insight and deep personal conviction. Morgan summons a narrative that clearly describes the people, culture, and emotions of the time, especially in antebellum North Carolina and later in New York. His personal connection to the land, including its history and features, enables the reader to experience the thrilling escape vividly. His historical nuances and references are spot-on. Chasing the North Star is an epic journey, vividly detailed, acutely satisfying, and ultimately hopeful. It sheds light upon some of the darkest moments in American history; yet it also illuminates the charity and love expressed by whites who hid, fed and aided the runaways at the risk of their own lives and those of their families.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Morgan’s latest is a grittily entertaining, smartly paced narrative about a fugitive slave. Morgan is a first-rate storyteller; he plots his novel extremely well, and readers will find this journey captivating.”
“Chasing the North Star is an epic journey, and Morgan’s vision of our dark past shines brilliantly detailed, deeply satisfying, and ultimately hopeful.”
—Charles Frazier, author of Nightwoods and Cold Mountain
In his latest historical novel, bestselling author Robert Morgan brings to full and vivid life the story of Jonah Williams, who, in 1850, on his eighteenth birthday, flees the South Carolina plantation on which he was born a slave. He takes with him only a few stolen coins, a knife, and the clothes on his back--no shoes, no map, no clear idea of where to head, except north, following a star that he prays will be his guide.
Hiding during the day and running through the night, Jonah must elude the men sent to capture him and the bounty hunters out to claim the reward on his head. There is one person, however, who, once on his trail, never lets him fully out of sight: Angel, herself a slave, yet with a remarkably free spirit.
In Jonah, she sees her own way to freedom, and so sets out to follow him.
Bristling with breathtaking adventure, Chasing the North Star is deftly grounded in historical fact yet always gripping and poignant as the story follows Jonah and Angel through the close calls and narrow escapes of a fearsome world. It is a celebration of the power of the human spirit to persevere in the face of great adversity. And it is Robert Morgan at his considerable best.
Robert Morgan is the author of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, most notably his novel Gap Creek and his biography of Daniel Boone, both of which were national bestsellers. A professor at Cornell University since 1971 and visiting writer-in-residence at half a dozen universities, his awards include Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships and an Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature. He was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2010. Find him online at www.robert-morgan.com.