Once Two Heroes by Calvin Baker
A Novel

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Calvin Baker burst upon the literary scene at age twenty-three with Naming the New World, a first novel of stunning ambition and tragic grandeur. Now, in his second novel, Baker more than fulfills his early promise of great things to come.

Once Two Heroes is the story of black and white America and the aftermath of World War II. Two men go off to serve their country in the war against tyranny and return home heroes: Mather, a black man who grew up in France, and Lewis, from a genteel, old, white Mississippi family. On the battlefield, they fought as equals, each proving himself a man to be reckoned with. But back home in America, Mather and Lewis learn, each in his own way, that what happened in war was no preparation for the brutal violence of peace. Disastrous circumstances-including a murder in Mississippi, a police chase, a desperate bid for freedom-bring these two men face-to-face on a night that changes both of their lives forever.

About Calvin Baker

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Calvin Baker was born in Chicago and graduated from Amherst College. He has written one previous novel and lives in New York City.
Published January 27, 2003 by Viking Adult. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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At a gas station in the little town of Meridian, Mather is attacked by Nathan Hampton (older brother of Lewis), and, in the brawl that ensues, Mather kills Nathan.

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Publishers Weekly

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He ingeniously divides the novel in two, devoting the first half to Mather and the second to Lewis, while Nathan's death is described in a prologue, giving the nightmarish ending an even greater sense of inevitability.

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Book Reporter

Mather is nervous, since he knows that being a black man by himself in the middle of the Deep South is asking for trouble, but the young boy with his idle chatter eases Mather's mind and he soon relaxes.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Once Two Heroes: A Novel