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Billy Sunday: A Novel by Rod Jones
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Billy Sunday: A Novel

by Rod Jones

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In Billy Sunday, his second novel published in the United States, Jones turns his ambitious imagination to the American psyche at the end of the frontier period. Three historical figures stand at center stage: Frederick Jackson Turner, author of the famous book of essays The Frontier in American History; Charles Van Schaick, the photographer Michael Lesy made famous in his surreal and haunting book Wisconsin Death Trip; and Billy Sunday himself, an orphan, undertaker's assistant, and onetime professional baseball player who became a charismatic evangelist in the 1890s. Their paths cross during the steamy summer of 1892, when a girl's body is discovered in the woods beside a dreamy lake on the very edge of civilization. This terrible moment becomes the fulcrum for Jones's compelling and tragic meditation on the end of an era, as well as of an ethos, in our history.… (more)

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