Join us as we celebrate the release of Christopher Tilghman’s new novel, On the Tobacco Coast. This in-person event will be free and open to the public. We recommend arriving early for the best seating.
About the Book: The culmination of Christopher Tilghman’s great Chesapeake saga, a story spanning four centuries of an American family.
It is the Fourth of July 2019, and the Mason family is gathering for its annual celebration at the family’s historic Chesapeake farm, Mason’s Retreat. It isn’t everyone’s favorite tradition, but Harry Mason has once again goaded his wife, Kate, and their children into participating. Their oldest, Rosalie, is having trouble with her marriage; the youngest, Ethan, is in the throes of a fitful first relationship. In between, Eleanor despairs over her stalled novel, a fictionalized memoir of the wife of the first Mason immigrant who landed in 1659.
Kate, recovering from a second round of chemotherapy, is at the center of this ritual of remembrance. Tart and candid, she asks her husband, “What crimes against humanity did your family not commit on this farm?” And so it happens that when the family, joined by a cast of neighbors and cousins from France, sits down for dinner, the question of how they should regard their past comes to the fore.
Told with warmth and humor, On the Tobacco Coast is Christopher Tilghman’s concluding meditation on the themes of his novels about Mason’s Retreat: place and history, the persistence of family stories, race and white privilege, the enigmas and customs of regions. It is a reflection on the state of America today, its battles with its own history, and efforts to reckon with the wrongs of the past while looking forward to a more just future.
About the Author: Christopher Tilghman is the author of two short story collections, In a Father’s Place and The Way People Run, and four previous novels, including Thomas and Beal in the Midi, The Right-Hand Shore, and Mason’s Retreat, which recount the connected stories of the Mason and Bayly families. He lives with his wife, the novelist Caroline Preston, in Charlottesville, Virginia, and in Centreville, Maryland.
On the Tobacco Coast will be released on April 16. To order the book, please see below for the New Dominion Bookshop book order form or call the shop at 434-295-2552.
"Tilghman’s four-volume chronicle of the Mason family, having spanned centuries and continents, ends, as it must, around a dinner table—a domestic idyll at which the ghosts of a brutal history, both national and familial, keep trying to pull up a chair. A moving capstone to one of the epic projects in recent American literature."
New Dominion Bookshop Book Order Form
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Christopher Tilghman Photo Credit: Jill Meriwether