When he learns that his pregnant wife has been spirited off to a distant city, William responds as any man might—he drops everything to pursue her. But as a fugitive slave in Antebellum America, he must run a terrifying gauntlet, eluding the many who would re-enslave him while learning to trust the few who dare to aid him on his quest.
Among those hunting William is Morrison, a Scot who as a young man fled the miseries of his homeland only to discover even more brutal realities in the New World. Bearing many scars, including the loss of his beloved brother, Morrison tracks William for reasons of his own, a personal agenda rooted in tragic events that have haunted him for decades.
Following up on his award-winning debut, Gabriel’s Story, David Anthony Durham presents another riveting tale, a brilliantly drawn portrait of America before the Civil War, and a provocative meditation on racial identity, freedom and equality.
About the Author
David Anthony Durham earned an M.F.A from the University of Maryland. His first novel, Gabriel’s Story, was published to wide acclaim in 2001. He has won several awards, including the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Fiction Award, a First Novel Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and a Legacy Award. His short fiction appears in Gumbo: An Anthology of African American Writing. Durham lives with his wife and two children in rural Scotland.
“Poetically graceful. . . .Combines history and morality with a dynamic intelligence.” --The New York Times
“The story of Civil War-era America, magnificently told.” --The Washington Post
“The scope of Walk Through Darknessis immeasurably grand, and its story involves us on a primal, irresistible level.”--Newsday
“David Anthony Durham… has formed his own inclusive and original vision of American society, nourished by a nuanced understanding of history and an intuitive, almost spooky feel for the inner lives of its inhabitants…. Walk Through Darkness remains a hugely ambitious book that leaves the reader wondering, and waiting for, what Durham will do next.” --The New York Times Book Review
“Black and white was never so gray, and gray was never so vibrant as it streams across [these] pages. . . Durham remains not just a startlingly poetic African-American voice but a welcome voice in the rich spectrum of American letters.”–Denver Post
“Walk Through Darkness gets under your skin and stays there. In language both disturbing and haunting, Durham presents a many-layered story of love and race and, ultimately, the very issue of humanity itself. With masterful ease he plumbs the crevices of our collective consciousness and reveals not only the terrible truths but also the lustrous beauties that reside there.”–Jeffrey Lent, author of In the Fall
“Evocative and finely wrought. . . resonates with the great American historical irony.”–San Francisco Chronicle
“Part love story, part historical drama, Durham achieves something that lesser authors can only dream of: He blends the various elements of his novel seamlessly, integrating a number of disparate characters, settings and ideas into a lyrical, cohesive whole.”–The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
“Rich, evocative. . . A complex story that is uniquely American.”–Philadelphia Tribune
“Complex, brilliantly written and deeply engaging, Walk Through Darknessshows a young novelist building on his formidable narrative gifts to produce a powerful work of historical fiction.”–BookPage
“Powerfully written and emotionally devastating. . . Durham’s writing is forceful and full of startling imagery.”–Publishers Weekly (starred)