Blackburn’s novel is based upon the Colorado coal-mining wars which culminated in the Ludlow Massacre of 1914. The Door of the Sad People, focuses upon the lives of ordinary people –miners and their families, enslaved women, veterans of the Philippines War, tuberculosis victims --as viewed by “Tree,” a young westerner who has been violently banished from home after his father becomes entangled in the intrigues of a powerful New York financier. Part tragedy, part picaresque, “Sad People” explores the reality of workingclass, mostly immigrant experiences as these come into conflict with the unrestrained powers of a ruling elite.
Master storyteller Alexander Blackburn!- -Enchantment
The Door of the Sad People is one of the most remarkable books I have read ever. -- Fred Chappell, poet laureate of North Carolina and recipient of Yale University’s Bollinger Prize for Poetry.
This outstandingly well-researched and thoughtfully written story of a lesser-known incident in American and Colorado history adds immeasurably to the chronicle of the nation's change from wilderness to civilization. Blackburn's perceptive insights and smooth prose makes accessible a complex and sometimes enigmatic situation, and he tells the story with compassion and uncommon understanding. An excellent read all the way through!-- Clay Reynolds, Novelist and director of Creative Writing at he University of Texas at Dallas
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