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Donald McCaig is the award-winning author of Canaan as well as Jacob's Ladder. He was chosen by the Margaret Mitchell estate to write Rhett Butler's People, an authorized sequel to Gone with the Wind. He lives on a sheep farm in the mountains near Williamsville, Virginia, where he writes fiction, essays, and poetry, and trains and trials sheep dogs.
The story of Mammy from Gone With the Wind from age 4 to her life with Miss Scarlett as we know her. It is jaw-droppingly good, quite magnificent. There is so much tenderness, hardship, joy and emotion, it fair rings you out. You’ll cry, you’ll laugh, you’ll love it. The dialect used for the characters sings, the whole colour and drama of the tale is memorable. A lovely read. Apparently Margaret Mitchell’s estate approves too! Indeed they authorised it after the author wrote Rhett Butler’s story. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Set against the backdrop of the American South from the 1820s until the dawn of the Civil War, this is a remarkable story of fortitude, heartbreak, and indomitable will - and a tale that will forever illuminate the reading of Margaret Mitchell's unforgettable classic, Gone with the Wind. On the Caribbean island of Saint Domingue, an island consumed by the flames of revolution, a senseless attack leaves only one survivor: an infant girl. She falls into the hands of two French emigres, Henri and Solange Fournier, who take the beautiful child they call Ruth to the bustling American city of Savannah. What follows is the sweeping tale of Ruth's life as shaped by her strong-willed mistress and other larger-than-life personalities she encounters in the South: Jehu Glen, a free black man with whom Ruth falls madly in love; the shabbily genteel family that first hires Ruth as Mammy; Solange's daughter Ellen and the rough Irishman, Gerald O'Hara, whom Ellen chooses to marry; the Butler family of Charleston and their shocking connection to Mammy Ruth; and finally Scarlett O'Hara-the irrepressible Southern belle Mammy raises from birth.
Alternately comical, melancholic, pragmatic, and poetic, Donald McCaig's collection A Useful Dog offers a delightful exploration of the simple yet rich relationship between dogs and humans. Having cast aside urban life in the 1970s in favor of working and living on a sheep farm in Virginia, McCaig has spent the past three decades raising working sheepdogs and writing about his experiences with them. A Useful Dog comprises a selection of short pieces - vintage McCaig - that reveal not only the ins and outs of sheepdog work and trials but also the joy and devotion that dogs bring to our daily lives. For any dog enthusiast, this little book will prove a telling reminder of why the dog became known as man's best friend.
Nop's Hope is the long-awaited sequel to the beloved animal classic Nop's Trials. As Nop's Hope begins, Penny Burkholder is on the road in her battered pickup, earning what money she can on the sheepdog trial circuit. She is fleeing from a terrible tragedy, and her only friend in the world is her dog, Hope, a remarkable Border Collie. During her hard and dangerous journey, Penny meets two men who fall in love with her: Oren Wright, the steady, dependable Texas sheepman, and Ransome Barlow, laconic, strange, and brilliant with dogs. At the national finals in Wyoming, these humans and their dogs come together in the final searing test of skill, animal savvy, and love. For when Lewis Burkholder, Penny's father, walks onto the trial field with the great dog Nop at his side, what is at risk is no less than Penny's sanity and soul. As wise about animals as it is about the mystery of human love, Nop's Hope will be warmly received by those who remember Nop's Trials and by countless others who will encounter this enthralling saga for the first time.
When the author of Nop's Trials, one of America's best-loved dog books, searches Scotland for a Border Collie, the result is both a vivid history of an astonishing breed and an exploration of the ancient, extraordinary pact between man and dog.
In the tradition of Wendell Berry and John McPhee, Donald McCaig wites with a powerful sense of place, and of history of Virginia's Highland County, in An American Homeplace. On the fast track in the New York advertising world, McCaig gave it all up to move to a ramshackle farm in Virginia's upper Cowpasture River Valley. Enhanced by the author's evident love for his land and for the stories it has to tell, An American Homeplace is an inviting combination of personal memoir and narrative history.