The new novel Tail Feather: Adventures of a Mohawk Paddler on the River-That-Flows-Two-Ways (2020) by Ray E. Phillips delivers the audience to turbulent times archaeologists call the “contact period,” the time of first encounters between indigenous people of the Americas and European explorers, traders, and settlers.
The story embraces a sweeping panorama off the Hudson River from Lake-Tear-of-the-Clouds in the Adirondacks the Manhattan Island.
The story of unfolds through the experiences of a Mohawk youth on a trading mission. Traveling downriver by canoe, the flint and shell traders encounter the ship of Adriaen Block in the Tappan Zee. It’s a chance meeting that sets the time as the spring of 1613.
Many of the natural sights along the Hudson River that are described in the story can still be seen relatively unchanged today. Notes explaining various cultural and geographical aspects of the plot complement the story.
Ray E. Phillips, MD. is the author of several books on cardiovascular medicine and the clinical exam, published by McGraw Hill, W.B.Saunders and Springer Nature. He has contributed to the New York Almanack, including “Colonial Medicine: Treating George Washington.” An essay, “The Devil’s Bite” (the story of scurvy) is in the current issue of Sea History Magazine.
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