NPR

Civil War Story Of Northern Secession Inspires Novel

"The Hidden Light of Northern Fires" tells the story of Mary, who uses her New York farm as an Underground Railroad stop during the Civil War, a risky venture because her town has seceded from the Union.
The Hidden Light of Northern Fires, by Daren Wang. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

In his debut novel “The Hidden Light of Northern Fires,” Daren Wang tells the story of Mary, who uses her New York farm as an Underground Railroad stop for escaped slaves during the Civil War. It’s a risky venture because her town has seceded from the Union.

As Wang (@darenwang) tells Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson, he was inspired to write the novel by his childhood home in Town Line, New York, which seceded from the Union during the Civil War and didn’t rejoin it until 1946.

Interview Highlights

On his childhood home, Town Line, New York, which seceded from the Union in 1861

“We had always heard stories about the secession. The Town Line Fire Department, their shoulder patch says, ‘Last of the Rebels: 1865 to 1946’ on it. So it’s kind of the little town, the little hamlet’s identity, really.”

On the house he grew up in, which was part of the Underground Railroad

“That part was a little bit more hidden, I think would be the term, because we’d had rumors about it being an Underground Railroad station, but we also heard ghost stories about the front house as well, and it all — you know, if you’re growing up, you’re 5 or 6 years old, it all kind of melds together. And I left that place when I was a fairly young child. It was only years later that I found an oral history of the Willis

Vous lisez un aperçu, inscrivez-vous pour en lire plus.

Plus de NPR

NPR2 min de lectureInternational Relations
Israeli Airstrike Flattens Building Housing AP And Other Media In Gaza City
A dozen journalists and freelancers were evacuated from the AP offices in the 12-story building before it crumbled to the ground. AP said the military has long known the building housed journalists.
NPR2 min de lecture
Margaret Cho's 5 Favorite Tiny Desk Concerts
For Tiny Desk Playlists, we ask musicians, creators and folks we admire to choose the Tiny Desk concerts they've come to love. For this edition, we asked comedian, podcaster and actress Margaret Cho to pick her favorites. Margaret Cho does it all. We
NPR3 min de lecture
'The Rock Eaters' Explores The Boundaries Of Emotion, Possibility And Longing
Brenda Peynado's new collection yanks readers straight into her stories, punchy and powerful tales that mix the everyday and the fantastic to search for meaning in the immigrant experience.