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Matthew Pearl: The Taking of Jemima Boone

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Celebrated author Matthew Pearl discusses his first book of nonfiction, The Taking of Jemima Boone: Colonial Settlers, Tribal Nations, and the Kidnap That Shaped America.

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The Taking of Jemima Boone

In his first work of narrative nonfiction, Matthew Pearl, bestselling author of acclaimed novel The Dante Club, explores the little-known true story of the kidnapping of legendary pioneer Daniel Boone’s daughter, and the dramatic aftermath that rippled across the nation.

On a quiet midsummer day in 1776, weeks after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, thirteen-year-old Jemima Boone and her friends Betsy and Fanny Callaway disappear near the Kentucky settlement of Boonesboro. A Cherokee-Shawnee raiding party has taken the girls as the latest salvo in the blood feud between American Indians and the colonial settlers who have decimated native lands and resources.

Hanging Maw, the raiders’ leader, recognizes one of the captives as Jemima Boone, daughter of Kentucky's most influential pioneers, and realizes she could be a valuable pawn in the battle to drive the colonists out of the contested Kentucky territory for good.

As Matthew Pearl reveals, the exciting story of Jemima Boone’s kidnapping vividly illuminates the early days of America’s westward expansion, and the violent and tragic clashes across cultural lines that ensue.

Matthew Pearl’s novels have been international and New York Times bestsellers translated into more than 30 languages. His nonfiction writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, The Atavist Magazine, and Slate. The New York Daily News raves "if the past is indeed a foreign country, Matthew Pearl has your passport." Matthew has been chosen Best Author for Boston Magazine's Best of Boston and received the Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction. The Taking of Jemima Boone is his nonfiction debut.

About Brookline Booksmith

We are one of New England’s premier independent bookstores, family-owned and locally run since 1961. We offer an extensive selection of new, used, and bargain books; unique, beautiful gifts; award-winning events series; and specialty foods. Every day, we strive to foster community through the written word, represent a diverse range of voices and histories, and inspire conversations that enrich our lives. Find more at brooklinebooksmith.com!

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