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Matthew Pearl with Kevin Birmingham: The Taking of Jemima Boone

Matthew Pearl with Kevin Birmingham: The Taking of Jemima Boone

Thursday, October 07, 2021 - 08:00PM ET
Event Location: 
Online
Event address: 
Online
279 Harvard Street
Coolidge Corner
Brookline, MA 02446-2908

Celebrated author Matthew Pearl discusses his first book of nonfiction, The Taking of Jemima Boone: The True Story of the Kidnap and Rescue That Shaped America.

Books purchased at registration include a signed bookplate!

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.

Moderator Kevin Birmingham is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Most Dangerous Book, which won the PEN New England Award and the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism. He has been named a Public Scholar by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and he received his Ph.D. in English from Harvard. His writing has appeared in Harper's, The New York Times Book Review and the Chronicle of Higher Education.