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Philipp Meyer -- The Son -- Gables
Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son
is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in
the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious
family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim
1849. The first male child born in the newly established Republic of
Texas, Eli McCullough is thirteen years old when a marauding band of
Comanches storms his homestead and brutally murders his mother and
sister, taking him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to life
among the Comanches, learning their ways and language, answering to a
new name, becoming the chief's adopted son, and waging war against their
enemies, including white men—which complicates his sense of loyalty and
understanding of who he is. But when disease, starvation, and
overwhelming numbers of armed Americans decimate the tribe, Eli finds
himself alone. Neither white nor Indian, civilized nor fully wild, he
must carve a place for himself in a world in which he does not fully
belong—a journey of adventure, tragedy, hardship, grit, and luck that
reverberates in the lives of his progeny.
Intertwined with Eli's
story are those of his son, Peter, a man who bears the emotional cost of
his father's drive for power, and Jeannie, Eli's great-granddaughter, a
woman who must fight hardened rivals to succeed in a man's world.
Meyer deftly explores how Eli's ruthlessness and steely pragmatism
transform subsequent generations of McCulloughs. Love, honor, even
children are sacrificed in the name of ambition as the family becomes
one of the richest powers in Texas, a ranching-and-oil dynasty of
unsurpassed wealth and privilege. Yet, like all empires, the McCulloughs
must eventually face the consequences of their choices. Harrowing,
panoramic, and vividly drawn, The Son is a masterful achievement from a sublime young talent.
About the Author
Philipp Meyer grew up in Baltimore, dropped out of high
school, and got his GED when he was sixteen. After spending several
years volunteering at a trauma center in downtown Baltimore, he attended
Cornell University, where he studied English. Since graduating, Meyer
has worked as a derivatives trader at UBS, a construction worker, and an
EMT, among other jobs. His writing has been published in McSweeney's,
The Iowa Review, Salon.com, and New Stories from the South. From 2005 to
2008 Meyer was a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin,
Texas. He splits his time between Texas and upstate New York.
Part epic of Texas, part classic coming- of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim