Author, CD Harper is pleased to announce his book, Covenant. This work is a historical fiction novel set during slavery and the Civil War and looks at the relationship of the slave master and his slave love. The story also delves into the impact of slavery, the war and the human impulse to love on lives of everyone on Covenant Plantation. Covenant is told from the perspective of a slave.
The Civil War provides a smoky background for this debut novel that delves into the uncomfortable friction that exists between the waning power of the Southern plantation culture and the emerging identities that lie beneath. The naive Seth Hunter Jr., whose existence has been mapped out for him by domineering patriarchs, finds himself forced to confront his life as pressures from the past and future force him from his pedestal. The divine nature of the American ideal of Manifest Destiny led earlier generations of Hunters from humble Northern beginnings to a precipice of Southern power embodied in Covenant Plantation, Seth Jr.'s inheritance. As the Civil War unseats the stability of the South, Seth's own life unravels. The estate, the lifestyle and the woman he was given all become harder to hang on to as he struggles to fulfill his destiny.
Enjoy these two excerpts from Covenant:
Seth Junior at his father's death bed...
He strained to hear Seth Senior. His daddy's voice once had boomed with presence and authority. That's the voice he wanted to hear and imitate, and the wisdom, strength and will power he needed.
"I ain't never had to think about nothing like that before, Daddy."
"Why not? Did I make it so easy? Was I so sure that Providence would always be there? Was I? My daddy, he never worried about me. He knew I was ready! Don't you mess with His stuff, you hear me, Seth Junior? Huh?" The old man's breath smelled of age, an indescribably dry odor, one that Seth Junior knew he would never smell again.
There was a long pause before he spoke again, opening and closing his eyes at a slow and deliberate rate breathing deeply, his chest heaving with each effort. " You have to carry on stand in my place."
Seth Junior breaks the news to Sandy...
Her response was so sudden, so quick that it startled both horses. Her horse bolted like a runaway, leaving Seth Junior standing in shock, trying to control his horse and holding the side of his face where Sandy had struck him with her riding crop. It took only a moment before he reined in his horse and felt the pain. Only then did he realize that in that brief moment, she had disappeared.
His first thought was to go after her, but her horse was as fast as his, perhaps faster. In an instant, he realized that maybe this was the best solution, her running off, and his allowing her to run off. Yet at the same moment came the realization that he couldn't bear the thought of being without her. If she left the plantation, his land, she would be just another nigger slave gal, beautiful and desirable and available. He gasped when he felt the words in his mind: another nigger slave gal. He had never thought of her in that way, and it disturbed him that he could with such ease.
Dr. Clifford D. Harper is a respected theatrical executive producer and playwright. His written works include Curse and Neva's Tale. Neva's Tale was produced by Theresa Larkin, directed by Ted Lange, and earned actor Larry Gammell Jr. an NAACP Award and another from L.A. Weekly in 1993 for his supporting role.
A retired Professor of Theatre Arts and Dance at California State University, Los Angeles, Clif served as the Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts where he established the "Theatre of the Twenty-First Century" and revived the Dance Kaleidoscope program in the LA community. During his tenure, he became the founding Executive Director of the Harriet and Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex, where he developed the world-renowned Luckman Jazz Orchestra. Dr. Harper's commitment to the arts was instrumental in facilitating the art retrospective: "African American Artists in Los Angeles, A Survey, Exhibition, 1945-2003."
Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Clif taught for a year at Sangamon State University before moving on to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where he served as Chair of the Black Studies Program and Dean of General Academic Programs. Dr. Harper received an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, a Master's in Theatre and Speech and became one of the first African Americans to earn a PhD. in English from St. Louis University
Born and raised in a segregated neighborhood of East St. Louis, Illinois, Dr. Harper graduated and later returned to teach at his high school alma mater, Lincoln High. Dr. Harper found this experience to be significant and rewarding. During this time, he discovered his passion for theater and found inspiration in his students, many of whom went on to have gratifying careers.
Dr. Harper's many accomplishments have included: working with the renowned Katherine Dunham, receiving a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship Award, earning one of the earliest Certificates in Black Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and starting a "Forgivable Loan" program for female PhD's at CSULA.
Clif and his lovely wife, Linda, have migrated north to the Oregon Coast, settling in the charming town of Gleneden Beach. Clif continues to write and is working on his next novel.