Like all the best writers, he allowsrnyou to lose yourself so fully in hisrnwork that the words on the paperrnbegin to assume real life, the peoplernbreathing and moving and actingrnon their own. It’s as if thesernnovels were simply found somewhere,rnalready formed, and notrnwritten page by page, month afterrnmonth, year after year.rnBrown wrote those lines after readingrnMiss Flannery’s letters and Jones’s ArnBuried Land—one of the finest novels ofrnour time —and A Cry of Absence, arguablyrnthe best novel ever written on thernrealities of race in the South.rnAll of which is the necessar)’ preludernto appreciating Nashville 1864, Jones’srnlatest work is a novel written in the formrnof a memoir recently discovered byrnthe grandson of the fictional author.rnThe memoirist, Steven Moore, in 1900rnrecorded his adventures of 36 years earlierrnwhen, as a boy of 12 with his slave andrnfriend Dink, also a boy, he set off, intornthe countryside of Tennessee, to searchrnfor his father, a Confederate soldier.rnFrom this story, Madison Jones has createdrnone of the finest fictional recollectionsrnof boyhood ever written. Moreover,rnhe makes the time, the countryside,rnthe way of life, and—not least—the warrnpresent to the imagination and the senses.rnHe captures what it meant (and mayrnstill mean) to be a Southerner, as well as,rnmore particularly, a Tennessean. Hernwrites straightforwardly, poignandy, andrntruly of what slavery in the Southrnwas not, and of what it was: Dink is beautifullyrnand lovingly drawn. Further,rnJones’s evocation of fatherhood is a greatrnachievement in itselfrnIn my memory Father, like the restrnof us, including the horse, abidesrnthere frozen out of time, he byrnmuch the taller looking gravelyrndown into my mother’s face. Nornmovement, no sound. I suspect itrnmay not have been just so in thosernmoments, but always when thatrnI V A S H V I L L Ern1864rnT H E D Y I N G O F T H E L I G H TrnA NOVELrnbyrnMADISON JONESrn’As a rendition of the tragedy of the American Civil War,rnNashville 1864 has the austere, subtle simplicity and hard clarity of a classic.”rn—Lewis P. Simpson, editor emeritus, The Southern Revieti/rn”It moves forward with irresistible narrative force, and it is ivritten in prose of thernutmost elegance. It is, in all respects, a splendid piece of work.”rn—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Postrn”He’s so much better than the ones all the shouting is about.”rn—Flannery O’ConnorrnID iinhr, send S H .’•)’> plus S.i sliippiug tn: J.S. Sanders