The Regulator welcomes Daren Wang, the Executive Director of the Decatur Book Festival, for a reading and booksigning of his first novel, The Hidden Light of Northern Fires. Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain) calls Wang’s debut, “a distinctive clear-eyed perspective on a fresh corner of the Civil War."
Rooted in the history of the only secessionist town north of the Mason Dixon Line, The Hidden Light of Northern Fires tells a story of redemption amidst a war that tore families and the country apart. Mary Willis has always been an outcast, an abolitionist in a town of bounty hunters and anti-Union farmers. When escaped slave Joe Bell collapses in her father’s barn, Mary is determined to help him cross to freedom in nearby Canada. But the wounded fugitive is haunted by his vengeful owner, who relentlessly hunts him up and down the country, and his sister, still trapped as a slave in the South. As the countryside is riled by the drumbeat of civil war, rebels and soldiers from both sides bring intrigue and violence of the brutal war to the town and the farm, and threaten to destroy all that Mary loves.
Daren Wang is the Executive Director of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival, the largest independent book festival in the country. Before launching the festival, he had a twenty-year career in public radio, both national and local, with a particular focus on books and authors. Wang has written for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Paste magazine, and Five Points magazine, among others. The Hidden Light of Northern Fires is his first novel.