Shopping Cart Link


New Issues Poetry & Prose







Sign up for our newsletter







Bookmark and Share
Cart
Cart link
Paperback add to cart


For Educators
View cart
Cover image Click for larger image

History's Child
Charles M. Boyer; Mary Gaitskill, fwd.




New Issues Poetry & Prose
2016 • 590 pp. 5 x 8"
Fiction & Literature / Literary Fiction

$18.00 Paperback, 978-1-936970-39-1



“A deftly crafted and compelling read from beginning to end, History's Child is one of those saga-length novels that will linger in the mind... [continued in Reviews below]”—Midwest Book Review, Library Bookwatch

Tadek Gradinski grows up witnessing the multiple invasions and crimes of World War II sweep over his village; he is arrested, tortured, and swept away into the Gulag with a twenty-five year sentence

Tadek Gradinski grows up witnessing the multiple invasions and crimes of World War II sweep over his village. After the war, at fourteen, he begins to run messages and guns for the anti-Stalin diehards still hiding in the woods. At seventeen he’s leading a double life, falling in love with a village girl, and dreaming about marriage and a job, while spying on NKVD agents at night. But someone betrays the partisans: their camp is destroyed; Tadek is arrested, tortured, and swept away into the Gulag with a twenty-five year sentence.

"History’s Child tells the coming-of-age story of a Polish boy born in a village in eastern Poland in 1931, whose childhood is torn apart, first by the Soviet invasion from the east, then by the German invasion from the west, and ultimately by repressive grip of Stalin that sends him to the gulag and subsumes his homeland into the Soviet republic of Belarus. The novel engages – bravely – with an unfashionable place, a chunk of land that is sometimes Belarus, sometimes Poland. History makes cruel visits, and there is sometimes brutal local treatment of outsiders and minorities. And yet the book is told in terms of individual fates, betrayals and survivals. This work has many of the characteristics of the big novel: a historical backdrop, a world war, resistance, hunger.
The narrative is riveting, the writing lucid, and the characters compelling. Boyer reveals what it means to remain a moral human being in the face of totalitarian power and brutality. This is a novel that reminds us of the power of fiction to teach us empathy and to help us understand how precarious freedom truly is. It is a masterful novel, one that is necessary for our times."
—Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) 2017 fiction winner Judges note

Reviews / Endorsements

“A deftly crafted and compelling read from beginning to end, History's Child is one of those saga-length novels that will linger in the mind and memory long after it has been finished and set back upon the shelf. History's Child is very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library Literary Fiction collections.”—Midwest Book Review, Library Bookwatch

History’s Child is very much about Poland and Belarus and the spirit of those that live there. However, it is also very much about people anywhere and everywhere trying to maintain humanity however they can in a world of gross power and abuse. As such it is something that ‘we,’ as citizens of what is still the most powerful country in the world, would do well to pay attention to.”
—Mary Gaitskill

Awards/Recognition:

Winner of the Great Lakes College Association for Fiction (2017)


CHARLES M. BOYER grew up in Illinois and Wisconsin and went to Beloit College, but has lived in New England for thirty years. He has an MA in fiction from the University of New Hampshire, and teaches English and Humanities at Montserrat College of Art. He has received a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board and a Fellowship from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and has published poems and stories with The Atlanta Review, Abraxas, Livingston Press, Literal Latte, and other venues. He lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with his family.



Sat, 2 Dec 2017 12:20:37 -0500