BY BETH TASHERY SHANNON
Pub date: November 30, 2017
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—THE HERON continues Pushcart Prize-winning author Beth Tashery Shannon’s WINDLAND’S WAR series for BearCat Press. “I write about a Kentucky of the distant future that has lived in my imagination for most of my adult life, and probably unconsciously before that,” says Shannon. “To call it mine at all seems beside the point. I find my people and events by walking, and working, in the landscape of the Blue Grass and the hills at its edges. When I don’t know what comes next, a bend in the creek or a fossil in a rock gives me and idea. The place that shaped me is shaping a story through me. I only hope I do it justice.”
Beth Tashery Shannon is a ninth generation Kentuckian, descended from Betsy Shanks Jones, pioneer survivor of the Bourbon County “Shanks massacre,” and kin to both General Robert E. Lee and emancipationist preacher Carter Tarrant who narrowly escaped being lynched in Woodford County. She holds graduate degrees in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, ancient Egyptian art from the University of Chicago, and British literature—W. B. Yeats—from the University of Kentucky. She worked with the Egypt Exploration Society’s excavations at Amarna and helps out at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement in Georgetown, Kentucky. Her publications include prose poems in Chicago Review and Pushcart Prize III and IX, four novels, and nonfiction in Amarna Reports IV, Approaches to Teaching the Works of Oscar Wilde, and the Old Friends Blog, oldfriendsblog.wordpress.com.
Synopsis of THE HERON:
When the seer called the Heron dies, the young witch Lark fears an end has come to the magic that gives the Blue Grass its being. For a hundred years the symbolic figure of the Heron has given the people a focus for their resistance to colonization by the conquering Domenes. The discovery of a tomb chamber holding no body but a treasure guarded by a dangerous “changeling” carved in wood convinces Lark that the rightful Heron is the living man the changeling resembles. But Windland, a road tramp in Domene employ, is the last person who’d ever want the job. When a Domene military commander blackmails Windland’s wife into spying on her husband’s village, a struggle begins that will not be satisfied with the sacrifice or salvation of lives. The cost must be reckoned in the spirit of the land and the souls of its people.
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