9781926845869

DAVID

Ray Robertson

Born a slave in 1847, but raised as a free man by the Reverend William King, David has rebelled against his emancipator and his predestined future in the church. He’s taken up residence in the nearby town of Chatham, made a living robbing graves, and now presides—in the company of a German ex-prostitute named Loretta—over an illegal after-hours tavern.

These days that final, violent confrontation with Reverend King seems like a lifetime ago. The residents of Chatham know David as a God-cursing, liquor-slinging, money-having man-about-town, famously educated and fabulously eccentric. And he seems to be more-or-less happy … that is,

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Born a slave in 1847, but raised as a free man by the Reverend William King, David has rebelled against his emancipator and his predestined future in the church. He’s taken up residence in the nearby town of Chatham, made a living robbing graves, and now presides—in the company of a German ex-prostitute named Loretta—over an illegal after-hours tavern.

These days that final, violent confrontation with Reverend King seems like a lifetime ago. The residents of Chatham know David as a God-cursing, liquor-slinging, money-having man-about-town, famously educated and fabulously eccentric. And he seems to be more-or-less happy … that is, until the death of Reverend King brings his past crashing down upon him.

Inspired by the Elgin Settlement, which by 1852 housed 75 free black families and was studied by Lincoln and Harriet Beecher Stowe, David is a fiery look at one man’s quest for knowledge and forgiveness, and a moving portrait of life after the Underground Railroad.

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Paperback

Price: $21.95

ISBN: 9781926845869

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About Ray Robertson

Ray Robertson is the author of the novels Home Movies, Heroes, Moody Food, Gently Down the Stream, What Happened Later, and David, as well as a collection of non-fiction, Mental Hygiene: Essays on Writers and Writing. He is a contributing book reviewer to the Globe and Mail.

Praise

“This beautifully written novel with its discontinuous narrative, complex characters, and references to poets, philosophers, and other great thinkers is a challenging read that is well worth the effort … With this novel he has beautifully brought to life a segment of African-American history that is largely unknown in this country.”Library Journal

“Ray Robertson’s story of an angry black man living in 19th-century Ontario is a mix of historical accuracy and vivid storytelling.”Globe & Mail

“In prose that is crisp and clean and a pure delight to read, David recounts his past, considers his hard-won independence, and admits his secrets. But this is no history lesson. Robertson has created a wonderful range of characters in this novel, some of them based in reality, all of them complex, immediate and fascinating. But best of all is David himself. Charming, smart, and audacious, he’s good company.”Gil Adamson, author of The Outlander

“David is that rarest thing–a novel about the past that burns with the vibrancy of contemporary life–and its eponymous hero is one of the wisest, funniest, and most enchanting characters I’ve encountered in a long time.”Todd Babiak, author of The Book of Stanley