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Friday, February 2, 2018

Novel by Clifford Browder Set in New York City

Title: Dark Knowledge
Author: Clifford Browder
Genre: Historical fiction
Paperback: 234 pages
ISBN: 978-1-68114-367-5

Do Black Lives Matter?

Young Chris Harmony thinks so when, learning that members of his family may have been involved in the pre-Civil War slave trade, he determines to learn the truth.  He tells his story in Dark Knowledge, a historical novel by Clifford Browder released by Anaphora Literary Press on January 5.  The story is set in late 1860s New York.
Chris’s investigation takes him into elegant brownstone parlors, a dingy waterfront saloon, and musty old maritime records that reveal startling secrets.  Since those once involved in the trade fear exposure, he meets denials and evasions, then threats, and finally a murder.  Chris is haunted by vivid fantasies of the suffering slaves on the ships and their savage revolts.  How could seemingly respectable people be involved in so abhorrent a trade, and what stratagems did they use to avoid exposure?  And what price must Chris pay to learn the painful truth and proclaim it?

This is the third title in Browder’s Metropolis series of historical novels set in nineteenth-century New York.  Surprised to learn that New York City was the center of the North Atlantic slave trade in the years just before the Civil War, Browder researched the subject at the New York Public Library and the New York Historical Society library, using primary sources whenever possible.
The other novels in the Metropolis series are The Pleasuring of Men (Gival Press, 2011), about a young man who chooses to become a male prostitute, and Bill Hope: His Story (Anaphora Literary Press, 2017), in which a street kid turned pickpocket relates his adventurous life.  Browder is also the author of two biographies; a critical study of the French Surrealist poet AndrĂ© Breton; andNo Place for Normal: New York / Stories from the Most Exciting City in the World (Mill City Press, 2015), a selection of posts from his blog that won the Tenth Annual National Indie Excellence Award for Regional Non-Fiction, and first-place in the Travel category of the 2015-2016 Reader Views Literary Awards.  He invites his friends and fans to read his fiction and nonfiction, but to avoid his poetry (awful stuff!).


A transplant from the Midwest, Browder is a writer and retired editor living in New York City’s Greenwich Village high above the Magnolia Bakery of “Sex and the City” fame.  He loves New York for its intensity and diversity, its craziness and creativity, and celebrates it, warts and all, in his blog, "No Place for Normal: New York."  A member of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, he loves old buildings and their history, but is also dazzled by glass-pinnacled high rises that spike the sky.  A hiker, he is fascinated by the black jelly and spongy white brain of slime molds, the intoxicating scent of milkweed, and the haunting beauty of the mushroom known as Destroying Angel, one bite of which is death.  Though ripe in years, recently he learned the Charleston; geezers rock.

Purchase Dark Knowledge at Amazon,

Barnes and Noble,
and Anaphra Liteary,

Clifford Browder blogs about New York city at  No Place for Normal: New York. 


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