A brilliant new novel from Christopher Bigsby, author, literary critic and head of the Arthur Miller Centre at the University of East Anglia
An act of terrible violence sets two people running - one white, one black, one a man whose life has been slipping away, the other a boy, stunned by grief but fighting to survive. Chasing them are men who have nothing but vengeance on their minds and another a law officer always seemingly a step behind, yet desperate to stop the logic playing itself out. But a chase turns into a journey as two people meet across a seemingly implacable gulf, as they travel towards a destiny they can never have imagined. At the heart of this darkness, however, is a surprising beauty, as at the heart of the beauty is a terrifying darkness.
Beautiful Dreamer is the story of a white man thrown into company he wouldn't ordinarily choose to keep. He's tried to prevent a lynching; now he's branded a 'nigger lover' - and, worse, he finds himself sheltering the dead man's son. When the mob comes round to finish the job, the two are forced to flee across country from men with nothing but vengeance on their minds. And always just a step behind is another, a law officer who has to choose between turning the customary blind eye and stopping the intolerable logic of racial hatred from playing itself out.
Vivid, haunting and beautiful, Christopher Bigsby's thrilling novel traces a contest between reluctant good and dedicated evil, where morality is a matter of life or death and the choices made have consequences as lasting as they are unexpected.
Educated at Sutton Grammar School, Sheffield University and Nottingham University, Christopher Bigsby is a Professor of American Studies at the University of East Anglia, and runs the Arthur Miller Centre for American Studies. As a broadcaster he presented Radio 4's Kaleidoscope and Off the Page. For the last seventeen years he has chaired the British Council Seminar on Contemporary British writing, bringing participants from over forty countries each year to meet with key British authors. For the last ten years he has also run the Arthur Miller Centre International Writers' Festival, sponsored by Waterstones. In addition to his novels, he has written many academic books.