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A Haunting Story…

At the turn of the nineteenth century, the young Indian woman Sacagawea leads Lewis and Clark to the Pacific. But what about that tiny infant in the commemorative engraving, perched on Sacagawea’s back? He is her son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, the youngest member of the Expedition, a child caught between two worlds who grows into a man haunted by the mother he barely knew and the wilderness she betrayed.

In Museum of Human Beings (publication date November 2008), Colin Sargent explores the fantastic life and times of Baptiste, Sacagawea’s son.

Sacagawea is only sixteen when she leads the Expedition and catches the eye of William Clark who finds her exotically appealing. Afterwards,  Clark takes in Sacagawea and her child, and raises Baptiste as a foster son. When the teenage Baptiste attracts the  notice of the visiting Duke Paul, Prince of Wurttemberg,  Clark approves of the duke’s “experiment” to educate the boy at court. A gleeful Duke Paul exhibits Baptiste throughout  Europe as a “half gentleman-half animal.” Eventually Jean Baptiste turns his back on the  Old World and returns to the New, determined to find his true place there. He travels deep into the heart of the American wilderness, and into the depths of his mother’s soul, on an epic quest for identity that brings sacrifice, loss, and the distant promise of redemption.

Museum of Human Beings is a lyrical mélange of magical realism.

Museum of Human Beings: A Novel
Colin Sargent
McBooks Press
Ithaca, NY
Pub. date: November 2008
Hardcover * 352 pages * $23.95
978-1-59013-167-1

Pub. date:  November 2009
Paperback $16.95
978-1590133491

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