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Why is American History Shunned in HF novels?

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chuck
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Post by chuck » Wed October 1st, 2008, 6:41 pm

[quote=""donroc""]Perhaps one reason some U.S. Historical novels are not published or even written is fear of lawsuits from descendants of those real life characters because our history is so recent.

As an example, in 1965, I sold a screenplay to a producer at Columbia. It was an epic about Wovoka and the Ghost Dance, the conflict between reactionary and assimilationist Sioux, a fictional encounter between Frederic Remington and Sitting Bull, the murder of Sitting Bull, and the massacre at Wounded Knee aka revenge of the 7th cavalry.

Two factors prevented it from being produced. The Remington estate threatened to sue anyone who used Remington (hence no novel or film about one of our most colorful artists to date); and even if we had removed his character from the story, at that time there was still bad blood between descendants of The Silent Eaters, partisans of Sitting Bull, and those of the Metal Breasts, Sioux constabulary who killed Sitting Bull when they tried to arrest him.


Perhaps we need more centuries to pass before certain stories can be told without fear of lawsuits.[/quote]

That would have been a interesting film.....I was looking forward to Dee Brown's "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" The series was very disappointing....Beautiful looking film, but lacked the real content of Brown's celebrated work.....I wonder how Thomas Berger got past Custer's descendants in his "Little Big Man" novel?...Any way very interesting post....

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donroc
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Post by donroc » Wed October 1st, 2008, 6:49 pm

Thanks, and I believe Custer had no children. I do not know about his brother, Tim.

Yes, it would have made a great film and a play only about Sitting Bull, who was an artist and poetic, as translated by a U.S. clerk at a hearing. Stanley Vestal has a great book about that era.
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Bodo the Apostate, a novel set during the reign of Louis the Pious and end of the Carolingian Empire.

http://www.donaldmichaelplatt.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZthhY6 ... annel_page

chuck
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Post by chuck » Wed October 1st, 2008, 7:06 pm

[QUOTE=donroc;6451]Thanks, and I believe Custer had no children. I do not know about his brother, Tim.

Yes, it would have made a great film and a play only about Sitting Bull, who was an artist and poetic, as translated by a U.S. clerk at a hearing. Stanley Vestal has a great book about that era.[/Q


I guess I was thinking about Libby Custer's need to keep G.A.C a fallen hero.....Thanks for the Vestal mention I will check it out......

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donroc
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Post by donroc » Wed October 1st, 2008, 7:58 pm

Steven Ambrose is another great historian of the era. He wrote a twin biography, Crazy Horse and Custer.

David Humphreys Miller wrote an excellent work titled Ghost Dance, which also covers everything mentioned above.
Image

Bodo the Apostate, a novel set during the reign of Louis the Pious and end of the Carolingian Empire.

http://www.donaldmichaelplatt.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZthhY6 ... annel_page

chuck
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Post by chuck » Wed October 1st, 2008, 10:21 pm

[quote=""eclecticreader10""]<<And maybe there are book buyers who dismiss our American history,which I find so exciting and dynamic, as boring - but so far, with a little more than a month on the shelves <knock on wood> I am happy to report MIDWIFE OF THE BLUE RIDGE is doing very well.>>

I do not find American HF boring. In fact 4 of my all time favorite books are: The Winthrop Woman, Gone With the Wind, Roots, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Right now i'm reading The Heretic's Daughter.

I think the problem is that the timeframe for American HF is only about the last 500 years, whereas for the rest of the world the timeframe is thousands of years. Much more opportunity and subject material available.

And, by the way, I'm adding MIDWIFE OF THE BLUE RIDGE to my TBR/WL. I've seen it on Amazon before and I love stories about midwives.[/quote]




Sharyn McCrumb, a North Carolina HF author has written a number of interesting Appalachia novels, "She Walks These Hills, Ghost Riders, and Rosewood Casket", to name a few......Her characters are entertaining and interesting, the Appalachia folklore and legends are weaved nicely into her story line......

Ash
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Post by Ash » Thu October 2nd, 2008, 2:30 am

I love her books, tho have to admit a fondness more for her take on SciFi Fan Conventions in Bimbos of the Death Sun. Its nothing at all like her other books, which is what makes it so very fun.

chuck
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Post by chuck » Thu October 2nd, 2008, 2:44 am

[quote=""Ash""]I love her books, tho have to admit a fondness more for her take on SciFi Fan Conventions in Bimbos of the Death Sun. Its nothing at all like her other books, which is what makes it so very fun.
[/quote]


She and Michael Moore should do a film about Sci Fi Fans and their Convention.....Yes Ms. McCrumb writes so effortlessly....I heard she wrote a book about her experiences with NASCAR....might be a fun read.....I like multi tasking authors......

KeyWestLiterarySeminar
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American Historical Fiction

Post by KeyWestLiterarySeminar » Fri October 10th, 2008, 3:38 pm

I'm new to these forums and I see this post hasn't been added to in a week or so, but I had to offer my 2 cents. Through my work at the Key West Literary Seminar, I've come across a ton of great HF books written by Americans and/or taking place in America or Latin America. Thomas Mallon has written beautifully about cold war-era Washington; Geraldine Brooks on the Civil War and the culture of Concord, MA; Gore Vidal on Lincoln; Madison Smartt Bell on the Haitian Revolution; William Kennedy on the political machinations in early 20th century Albany, NY; Peter Matthiessen on South Florida; plus younger authors like Samantha Hunt on Nikolai Tesla's last years in NY; Rachel Kushner on pre-Castro Cuba; John Wray on the founding of the American west. There are also American historians who can really write, who bring us wonderful characters and compelling stories. I'm thinking of Tony Horwitz, David Nasaw, Jill Lepore, and Andrea Barrett-- to name just a few. Check out this link for more about the Seminar and these authors.

Ash
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Post by Ash » Fri October 10th, 2008, 11:23 pm

Welcome! Don't worry if nothings been posted for a bit; post away and they will come!

Thanks for those authors, some of them I know (Horwitz and Brooks for starters) but some I didn't know about.

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Fri October 10th, 2008, 11:27 pm

The problem I'm facing is that there are few good stories written by women about women. I dont want to read about civil war battles. And when we do have stories written by women about women its more romance stuff. Its annoying.
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