lunes, 22 de diciembre de 2008

Carta de Edward Rutherfurd

Dear Reader, Alec Luis

I am delighted to give you news of my next book. During the last year, I have been fortunate enough to attend and speak at several delightful events, from the Milwaukee Irish Fest, to a large conference at my second alma mater, Stanford, and most recently at the annual gathering of Britain's cathedral precentors at Salisbury. But for most of this period I have been buried in the writing of the new book, and as I shall soon be emerging from this, it seemed time to let you know a little about the project.

My editors and I are now in the later stages of preparing the manuscript of NEW YORK. Although this book has been tentatively scheduled, we do not yet have a firm publication date. My present guess is that the book will be published in the latter part of 2009. I am letting you know in advance of any official announcements, and well before publication date I shall be in touch to give you all the details.

NEW YORK is a novel structured in a similar manner to LONDON and SARUM. It is a story of a fictional family, their descendants, and those who interact with them, beginning in the seventeenth century when the Dutch first settled on Manhattan, and ending in the twenty-first. As usual, the research required for this work has been fascinating, and has certainly changed my own understanding of this extraordinary city.

I have been very struck by New York's powerful interaction with Europe, and especially with Britain, at every period of her history. It's easy to forget today that for most of the eighteenth century, New York was considered the most English city in America, and that it was natural for it to become the British stronghold during the War of Independence. People also tend to forget how much the signers of the Declaration of Independence were voicing a very English protest, based upon their belief in their English liberties, before those liberties became enshrined as American. By contrast, I like to remember that Winston Churchill was, both by birth and by spirit, at least half a New Yorker! The role of New York in the slave trade, both under the Dutch, the English, and in the nineteenth century, greatly interested me, and provided some rich stories. You may also find, as our families live through the financial scandals of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that, like me, you experience a terrible sense of 'deja vu'.

New York's history is rich. It's a tale of Native Americans and Dutch, Englishmen and Africans, French and Germans, Italians, Jews and Gentiles, and many other immigrants besides. It would be impossible to do justice to it all, but my hope is that, through the stories of the many characters in this novel, I may have evoked something of the history and spirit of this remarkable place, where I have now lived many years of my life. Once again, I have received help and advice from some wonderful historians of the city.

All my books are written as popular, commercial entertainment. Yet to sustain one through what is, necessarily, an arduous journey, there has to be a sustaining vision that inspires, at least, the writer! SARUM, for instance, was about man's search for eternity through building in stone. London evoked the fluid uncertainty of the river of life. And for me, NEW YORK has become an essay about freedom, and what that word may mean. However inadequate my efforts, I hope that you too may find in the book some sense of the excitement and emotion that have inspired me to write this story.

There will be a number of public events at which I shall be appearing during 2009, and in the hope that I may have the pleasure of meeting you at one or other of these, I shall give you the schedules as they become clear in the new year.

With all good wishes,
Edward Rutherfurd
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