The Last of What I Am
Abigail Cutter (Author)
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Union Square & Co.
September 19, 2023
5.43 X 8.19 X 0.87 inches | 1.25 pounds
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About the Author
Abigail Cutter started out as an artist/printmaker with an MFA from George Washington University, but she quickly developed a deep love of American history. She married a man who came with an eighteenth-century farmhouse in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The farmhouse came with a very active ghost that inspired this book. She currently lives at both the farm and in the small town of Waterford with her family.
"What really haunts us--our own mistakes, or the weight of history? Based closely on the true story of her own uncanny encounters in an inherited antebellum Virginia farmhouse and old letters she found there, Abbie Cutter has crafted a novel that plumbs the painful history of a common soldier in the Civil War and the burdens he cannot set down. A riveting read, rich in historic detail and moral complexity."--Geraldine Brooks, New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner of Horse and March "A searing, brilliant, moving, and utterly original Civil War novel, told by the guilt-ravaged Virginia infantryman Tom Smiley whose own war never ended--at least not until a young couple move into his now-historic childhood home and start renovating . . . . A stirring meditation on guilt and redemption."--Lee Smith, New York Times best-selling author of The Last Girls "Abigail Cutter has rendered the Civil War and its consequences with a rare power and eloquence, combining literary imagination with fidelity to history. She has allowed people who lived and breathed in the past to live and breathe again, telling us of loss and suffering we need to remember."--Edward Ayers, author and winner of the Bancroft Prize for In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America "A richly imagined tragedy of a Rebel soldier whose regret for ill-chosen allegiance haunts him from the moment of enlistment through the horrors of a Union prison. It follows him into the afterlife, where he lingers in his ancestral home, unable to shed his shame for fighting for the cause of slavery. Masterful historical research and detail of the nineteenth century invest this story with a reader's pleasure in a felt life."--John Rolfe Gardiner, author of Newport Rising and O. Henry Prize winner "Tom's experiences, so vividly described, highlight the futility, chaos and hopelessness of war. . . . A deep and thought-provoking novel."--The Spectator "Cutter paints a vivid portrait of the 19th century . . . striking prose . . . [An] absorbing Civil War tale about overcoming guilt."--Kirkus Reviews