John Sayles's previous novels include Pride of the Bimbos, Los Gusanos, and the National Book Award-nominated Union Dues. He has directed seventeen feature films, including Matewan, Lone Star, and Eight Men Out, and received a John Steinbeck Award, a John Cassavetes Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Writer's Guild of America, and two Academy Award nominations. His latest film, Amigo, was completed in 2010.
About the book: It's 1897. Gold has been discovered in the Yukon. New York is under the sway of Hearst and Pulitzer. And in a few months, an American battleship will explode in a Cuban harbor, plunging the U.S. into war. This is the unforgettable story of that extraordinary moment: the turn of the twentieth century, as seen by one of the greatest storytellers of our time.
Spanning five years and half a dozen countries, A Moment in the Sun takes the whole era in its sights—from the white-racist coup in Wilmington, North Carolina, to the first stirrings of the motion-picture industry, to the bloody dawn of U.S. interventionism in Cuba and the Philippines. The result of years of writing and research, the book is built on the voices of a breathtaking range of men and women—Hod Brackenridge, a gold-chaser turned Army recruit; Royal Scott, an African American infantryman whose life outside the military has been destroyed; Diosdado Concepcíon, a Filipino insurgent preparing to fight against his country's new colonizers; and more than a dozen others, Mark Twain, Damon Runyon, and President William McKinley's assassin among them. Shot through with a lyrical intensity and stunning detail that recalls Doctorow and Deadwood both, this is a story as big as its subject: history rediscovered through the lives of the people who made it happen.