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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good used copy: Some light wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins. Text is clean and legible. Possible clean ex-library copy with their stickers and or stamps.
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Dominion: A Novel Hardcover – June 14, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Baker's ambitious but slack novel follows three generations of African-American men who make their mark in colonial and Revolutionary South Carolina, while battling nature, the supernatural and their sexual and emotional needs. Jasper Merian, a 29-year-old freed slave from Virginia with grandiose ambitions, settles in the forest beyond the town of Berkeley, S.C., where he toils to tame the wilderness. With the help of his wife, Sanne, he builds a home he calls Stonehouses, a place he hopes will be a utopia and a legacy for Sanne; their son, Purchase; and Jasper's son, Magnus, an escaped slave borne by another wife. While Magnus makes a life at Stonehouses, Purchase, a blacksmith, wanders the colonies, struggles through a fraught love affair and produces a son, Caleum, who grows up to join a Revolutionary militia out of neighborly loyalty more than political conviction. Baker (Once Two Heroes) brings authentic quotidian detail, evocation of the religious tensions of the era and a fervent sense of purpose to the novel. But his high-flown language is sometimes more inflated than eloquent, and the deliberately mystical, opaque storytelling leaches the novel's drama. (July)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Newly freed slave Jasper Merian wanders into Carolina territory, leaving behind a slave wife and young son. It is the seventeenth century, and most of America is untamed. Fighting harsh conditions--natural and unnatural--Jasper settles and eventually builds a homestead he grandly calls Stonehouses, where he marries Sanne and sires another son, Purchase. This place is meant to reflect Jasper's idea of utopia, and he makes his mark as he joins his neighbors in worries about hostilities with the native population and the injustices of slavery. They are eventually joined by Magnus, the slave son left behind, who has taken his freedom upon his mother's death. Teaching Magnus to live with freedom and Purchase to live with the responsibility that comes with a freedom he has always known, Jasper revisits his own notions of freedom and responsibility, religion and philosophy, marriage and love. Baker, author of the acclaimed Naming the New World (1997), has rendered a novel that, in its beauty, deftly drawn characters, and stirring look at the complexities of American slavery and race, recalls Edward P. Jones' The Known World (2003). Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; First Edition edition (June 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802118291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802118295
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,407,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Baker's first three novels, Naming the New World, Once Two Heroes, and Dominion, have been brilliantly acclaimed as among the best works of fiction by an American writer in the past decade. He has taught at Columbia University and the University of Leipzig, Germany. His long-awaited fourth novel, Grace, will be published in 2015.

Photo credit: Henry Leutwyler

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Parrott on December 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Calvin Baker is masterful in his use of textured language and layered plot to color the characters. Baker doesn't provide a lot of physical descriptions of the characters; instead, the reader is invited to draw his own pictures based on the author's adept telling of behaviors and motives - and showing how each character is seen and touched by others. This is a universal story of a young man's conquering the wilderness by wrestling adversity, yet never accepting defeat. This man, Jasper Merian is an African, an orphan, who leaves bondage in colonial Virginia to write his own history in the Carolinas. Baker makes clear Jasper's origins and those of several other characters. However, except to illuminate specific incidents, "race" is almost incidental to the heart of the book. Baker doesn't bring out a lot of villians to fuel the action. I counted two truly bad guys, and even they were infused with such real human frailities that I could not slow down to hate them. The archaic syntax (and the demon as metaphor), which can be off-putting in the hands of a lesser talent, is fitting and vital to setting the story's mood and time. Baker writes so beautifully that I re-read aloud whole pages just to hear his words spoken.
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By L. Arier on November 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I do not understand why Dominion did not become an instant classic. It should be required reading for all middle school students. Baker is a talented author who has put a fresh spin on the American classic, a family saga set in early America. Baker is not afraid to exhibit flawed male characters even when it is politically incorrect. Nor is this book about Black Americans. This book is about all Americans, but more importantly it is about the American story. As sure as to Kill a Mocking Bird is a part of the American fabric, I find myself wondering if with a little more restraint and white characters whether or not this book would have become required reading for all.
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By A Rabid Fan on July 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Calvin Baker is one of the best writers of his generation, and Dominion is his finest work yet. Novel after novel Baker has honed a unique, uncompromising vision until he has emerged here, with his finest work yet-- a powerful tale of love, history and art. It is at once a novel of America and the world; of individual men and mankind as a whole. With this book Baker lays claim to the ancient tradition of asking the unimaginable, but essential question, and delivering the timeless answers. This quite simply might be a masterpiece.
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