A Civil War novel unlike any other: the story of a young man’s journey through a nation blasted apart.
Born in 1844, Liberty Fish is the descendant of both Carolina slaveholders and New York abolitionists. In hopes of reconciling the warring strands of his heritage, he escapes his home in the North — first into the cauldron of the Civil War, and then into the even more disturbing bedlam that follows.
The Amalgamation Polka showcases not only the brutality of this tragic passage in American history, but also its surprising compassion and hope. In language both true to its time and completely modern, it is revelatory and mesmerizing, a novel that “will bring a smile to your own lips as it sets your brain on fire.” (Jason McBride, the Village Voice).