A novel in the tradition of Erskine Caldwell
"Charlotte Miller has illuminated a dark corner of the American South with remarkable grace and beauty. Behold, This Dreamer is an incredible debut novel." --Melinda Haynes, author of Mother of Pearl, the Oprah Book Club® selection for June 1999
Janson Sanders, part Cherokee, part poor-but-proud white, is a man intent on revenging his father's death and taking back the land stolen from him by a wealthy planter. In the process, he meets and falls in love with the daughter of another rich landowner, a dangerous man who refuses to accept that his daughter would love below her station.
Set against the contrasting backdrop of the small farm and sharecropping life in the South in the final days of King Cotton, Behold, This Dreamer is a story of love, hope, poverty, and heartbreak, in which the protagonist is pulled in opposite directions toward his love and his dream.
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Advance praise for Behold, This Dreamer
"Good news! Southern Literature is not dying. It is being revived by a writer named Charlotte Miller, and a press called NewSouth Books. Behold, This Dreamer reminds us of what we can't lose: the language of our people, the details of our land, the spiritual lust we crave--all of which Miller brings together in this masterful first novel."
--Vicki Covington, author of Night Ride Home, and co-author of Cleaving
"Solidly grounded in the Southern rural scene, this is a compelling tale, which addresses questions of identity and the struggle of good with evil. A story vividly told and, from first to last, rewarding to read."
--Helen Norris, Poet Laureate of Alabama, recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Alabama
Author 2000, and author of One Day in the Life of a Born Again Loser and The Christmas Wife
"You will fall in love in this sweeping tale of pride and passion and anxiously await the next segment of Charlotte Miller's trilogy, Behold, This Dreamer."
--Judith Richards, author of Summer Lightning and Too Blue To Fly
"Charlotte Miller's Behold, This Dreamer is filled with the lush landscapes of the South rendered often in evocative and vivid language. Not simply a backdrop, this landscape is the very foundation upon which Miller builds the story of a man characterized by his hard work, dignity, pride, and determination. In him we see the struggles of the poor and disposessed. We behold not only the dreamer, but also the triumph of love."
--Natasha Trethewey, author of Domestic Work, and recipient of the ASCA Individual Arts Fellowship, 2000.
There was as much pride within Janson Sanders as there was in any man in Eason County, though few people saw in him any reason for pride. Pride had no place in patched overalls and calloused hands, in a remade shirt and sunburned skin, or in the mixed blood that showed so clearly in his face and his coloring.
He walked beside his father that gray Saturday morning in late November of 1924, the short, brick-paved downtown section of Main Street in Pine seeming to him choked with traffic and noise such as he was little accustomed to. Black and gawky Model T Fords rattled by, Chevrolets of varying colors, a Packard, an expensive-looking Stutz blatting its horn to get out into traffic--they were all dust covered, red from the Alabama clay, for this was the only paved stretch of road in all of Eason County, other than the short, brick-paved strip of Central Street just in front of the county courthouse in Wylie....
Click here to read the first chapter of Behold, This Dreamer.