AUTHOR JAY ATKINSON & his book about Colonial Heroine HANNAH DUSTON
Join local author JAY ATKINSON for the first AUTHOR’S NIGHT OF 2016 on Thursday January 28 at 6:30, as he discusses his recently released book MASSACRE ON THE MERRIMACK: HANNAH DUSTON’S CAPTIVITY AND REVENGE IN COLONIAL AMERICA. This book is a detailed history of the legendary Hannah Duston, a heroine of the early days of New England colonial life
“Jay Atkinson is one of my favorite writers, and Massacre on the Merrimack, detailing an important yet little-known episode of captivity and revenge in colonial-era Massachusetts, benefits from his accomplished writing and keen-eyed historical perspective.” –– Chuck Hogan, author of The Town
Early on March 15, 1697, a band of Abenaki raided the English frontier village of Haverhill, Massachusetts. Striking swiftly, the Abenaki killed twenty-seven men, women, and children, and took thirteen captives, including Hannah Duston and her week-old daughter, Martha, who was killed by one of the warriors. After a forced march of nearly one hundred miles, Duston and two companions were transferred to a smaller band of Abenaki, who camped on a tiny island located at the junction of the Merrimack and Contoocook Rivers, several miles north of present day Concord, New Hampshire. The Abenaki intended to make the captives run the gauntlet at their village in Quebec, after which they would be sold as slaves.
“A strong sense of place and vivid narration….Atkinson’s storytelling skills are superb.” —Publishers Weekly
After witnessing her infant’s murder, Duston resolved to get even. Two weeks into their captivity, Duston and her companions, a fifty-one-year-old woman and a twelve-year-old boy, moved among the sleeping Abenaki with tomahawks and knives, killing two men, two women, and six children. After returning to the bloody scene alone to scalp their victims, Duston and the others escaped down the Merrimack River in a stolen canoe. Braving treacherous waters and the constant threat of attack and recapture, they returned to tell their story and collect a bounty for the scalps.
Was Hannah Duston the prototypical feminist avenger, or the harbinger of the Native American genocide? In this exquisitely researched and riveting narrative, bestselling author Jay Atkinson sheds new light on the early struggle for North America.
“A fitting memorial to an extraordinary woman, whose story is finally, and brilliantly, told here.” —Alex Beam, Boston Globe columnist
Jay Atkinson is a novelist, short story writer, essayist, critic, investigative journalist, and itinerant amateur athlete from Methuen, Mass. He is the author of two novels, a story collection, and five narrative nonfiction books. His nonfiction book, ICE TIME, was a Publisher’s Weekly notable book of the year in 2001, and LEGENDS OF WINTER HILL was on the Boston Globe bestseller list for several weeks in 2005.
Jay teaches journalism at Boston University.
Read about the author’s trip retracing Hannah Duston’s journey back to safety from the New York Times; click here:
AUTHOR’S NIGHT IS A FREE EVENT. A cash bar is available and copies of Mr. Atkinson’s book will be available for purchase courtesy of Dick Haley of Haley Booksellers. The event lasts approx. 1 hour.
Stay after the talk to enjoy DINNER WITH THE AUTHOR. Continue the conversation over cocktails, appetizers and dinner, all ordered a la carte from the regular Stellina menu. There are no additional charges for this Dinner, but we do advise attendees to make reservations in order to secure a spot.
For information or reservations call 617-924-9475 or click here: