Elizabeth Payne Rosen joins Cover To Cover this week for a discussion about her debut novel Hallam's War. Hallam's War is the story of Hugh and Serena Hallam, who try to make a life for themselves running a cotton plantation in West Tennessee in the years leading up to the Civil War. The choices that they make, and the forces setting about the war is the grist for Rosen's long narrative about the dying days of the slave system and the difference between "good" Southerners and "bad" Southerners.
Author Rosen grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana and has lived in England and now Marin County, California, where she works as an Episcopal Chaplain in a hospital. She became fascinated by the Civil War relatively later in life, and has turned that fascination into a tightly focused look at a handful of characters as they transit from the ante-bellum era into a hellish war world that includes privation, runaway slaves, battles at Shiloh and South Mountain, and the awful confines of a makeshift Confederate hospital in Richmond during the dying days of the War Between The States. Characters intermingle with Civil War era figures including General Albert Sydney Johnston, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and Mary Chesnut.
Elizabeth Payne Rosen creates realistic characters and plausible dialogue as she wrestles with the notion of Southerners who tried to come to terms with their slave economy and the coming of war. In our Cover To Cover interview she takes the topics of how challenging it is to write 'slave' dialogue, how many events to put into one novel and keep it plausible, and her fascinating research visit with distant cousin Shelby Foote.
We encourage you to consider Hallam's War for your nightstand, and we hope you'll listen to this week's Edition of Cover To Cover, Sunday night at 8pm.