cover of book

The Wished For Country
by Wayne Karlin
Northwestern University Press, 2002
eISBN: 978-0-8101-3728-8 | Paper: 978-1-880684-89-4
Library of Congress Classification PS3561.A625W57 2002
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54


The Wished For Country is set during the founding period of the Maryland colony, during the mid-17th century. The novel focuses on the entwined stories of James Hallam, a carpenter and indentured servant; Ezekiel, an African slave brought to Maryland from Barbados; and Tawzin, a Piscataway Indian, kidnapped to England when a child, and now back in America. While Hallam goes on to become a soldier and a player in the politics of the Maryland colony, Ezekiel and Tawzin become the center of an outcast group of blacks, whites, and Indians, who find themselves striving to reinvent themselves and their world. The stories of these three men, the women who love them, and the community they form, bring to vivid life the experiences of those who came to America pulled by a dream of what could be shaped from an emptiness that embodied promise, of those who were unwillingly brought to be the instruments of that dream, and of those who saw the shape of their world forever changed by the coming of the Europeans.

"The Wished For Country illuminates an aspect of our history that we dare not forget. Wayne Karlin’s new book is an enthralling and important novel."—Robert Olen Butler

"A powerful and wonderful recreation, deeply imagined and richly detailed. This is a book to be cherished and [one hopes] highly honored. "—George Garrett

"Again Wayne Karlin has demonstrated himself to be a serious artist

Nearby on shelf for American literature / Individual authors / 1961-2000: