The Amalgamation Polka: Book summary and reviews of The Amalgamation Polka by Stephen Wright

The Amalgamation Polka

by Stephen Wright

The Amalgamation Polka by Stephen Wright
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2006
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Born in 1844 in bucolic upstate New York, Liberty Fish is the son of fervent abolitionists as well as the grandson of Carolina slaveholders even more dedicated to their cause. Thus follows a childhood limned with fugitive slaves moving through hidden passageways in the house, his Uncle Potter’s free-soil adventure stories whose remarkable violence sets the tone of the mounting national crisis, and the inevitable distress that befalls his mother whenever letters arrive from her parents—a conflict that ultimately costs her her life and compels Liberty, in hopes of reconciling the familial disunion, to escape first into the cauldron of war and then into a bedlam more disturbing still.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Although it's tempting to label the story Faulknerian for its setting and precise, if playful, prose, Liberty's resemblance to Huck Finn is too strong to ignore. Highly recommended." - Booklist.
"This book, rich in an appropriately fatuous, overblown period style, is the morbidly comic counterpoint to Doctorow's The March." - PW.
"Offers a decidedly postmodern take on the Civil War entirely appropriate to the theme of a disjointed world." - Library Journal.

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