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Allen B. Ballard, photo credit: Phyllis GailemboALLEN BALLARD

From the Department of Africana Studies

NYS Writers Institute, October 5, 2000
4:00 p.m. Seminar | Humanities 354
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center

A stunning and engaging Civil War novel by University at Albany professor, Allen B. Ballard, Where I'm Bound (Simon & Schuster, October 2000, ISBN 0-684-87031-2) is the first work of fiction to focus solely on the soldiers of an African-American regiment and successfully portray their experience in a manner befitting the grandeur and scope of their contributions. Inspired by the true story of a black cavalry unit in Mississippi, Allen Ballard's debut novel tells the adventures of an escaped slave, Joe Duckett, who becomes a hero in the Northern Army, weaving the accomplishments of African-American Civil War soldiers with the drama of Duckett's heroic efforts to reclaim his life and family.

Dr. Ballard teaches history and African-American studies at the University at Albany. He has published two nonfiction books, The Education of Black Folk and One More Day's Journey, and his articles have appeared in popular journals and newspapers, including The New York Times, which just recently published his reflections on the Battle of Gettysburg.

"The important story of black soldiers in the Union army has finally found a writer of historical fiction equal to the occasion." - James McPherson

"Allen Ballard has helped fill a void in America's military history. Through his novelistic gift, we see the underappreciated role of the black soldier in the Union victory spring to life." - Joseph E. Persico

"Allen Ballard's thrilling drama gives Civil War history a real life, starting with its fugitive slave carpenter protagonist. Sergeant Joe Duckett makes a fine soldier and attractive lover whose joys and sorrows reflect that infernally American peculiar institution. What a terrific story!" - Nell Irvin Painter

"Built around the campaigns of the 3rd U.S. Colored Cavalry Regiment. . .The Civil War explodes through dimensions of history bypassed by a horde of historians. Now Allen B. Ballard has drawn back the curtain on yet another marvelous and moving epoch of the Black experience of that time." - John A. Williams

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.