It’s Christmas Eve, 1940. Along an isolated stretch of railway between Meridian, Mississippi, and New Orleans, Louisiana, two locomotives travel toward one another through the dark winter landscape. A.P. Dunn, engineer aboard the 4512 southbound freight, reminisces about the last trip he made through the snow. And though he can remember every detail about that voyage in 1923, what he can’t recall are the events of a few hours ago—where he ate breakfast, how he got the gash on his forehead, or what he did to make his crew treat him so strangely.On the northbound Silver Star, a luxury passenger train packed with returning college students and gift-bearing families, brakeman Artemus Kane has his own memories to contend with: French trenches and German snipers, a failed marriage, and a too-short layover spent with Anna, the brilliant and lonely woman he has just left behind in the Crescent City. In Pelican Road, Howard Bahr returns to his greatest theme—the tragic nobility of those attempting to overcome difficult situations through love, honor, and sacrifice—and shows that on the railway, catastrophe is never more than a distracted moment away.
Howard Bahr was born in Meridian, Mississippi. During the Vietnam War, he was a gunner’s mate in the U.S. Navy and later worked as a brakeman and yard clerk on five railroads in the South and Midwest. The author of three previous novels—The Black Flower, The Year of Jubilo, and The Judas Field—he currently resides in Jackson, Mississippi.
“Pelican Road is a stunning tribute to late modernism. Bahr captures the desperation and longing for meaning that existed for so many veterans and artists between the world wars. The structure, tone and lyricism are reminiscent of such classics as Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier and Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.”
— Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Publication Date: April 12, 2012
trim size: 6x9