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Three Louisiana stories of the Cajun experience during the 1950s told from the respective points of view of an aged trapper trapper on a pigogue chase of a mass murderer through vast marshes; an adolescent boy from a trapping, cattle-raising, farming family discovering his true place in the cosmos; and a young boy thrust into the painful ambiguities of McCarthyism and the Korean War. More
Marshland Trinity (Win or Lose, Ink, 1997) contains the two short novels Marsh Passage(Tranasse) and The Lost Ones (Les Perdues) originally published as the award-winning Marshand Brace by LSU Press in 1982 plus the short novel In a Kingdom of the Moon (Dans Rayuame de la Lune).
Taken together, they encapsulate the Acadian (Cajun) experience of the tumultuous 1950s.
In the first story, an aged trapper engages in a solo pursuit of a murderer through the vast marshes where he has lived and worked for a portion of every year since he was born. It is a journey of endurance, reflection, danger and -- even in his advanced years -- personal growth arriving at a dramatic realization of the true natural relationship between life and death.
In the second story a boy reaches manhood in a dramatic discovery of the intrinsic values of family, culture, cherished customs yet the inevitability of change. His struggles include contradictory messages in a Catholic school before Vatican II, a society increasingly dominated by post-World War II developments and the suppression of his native language. The tale culminates in a dramatic confrontation of his father and an uncle over a dark family secret during a an attempted roundup of wild cattle on a remote island.
The last story is told from the point of view of a young Cajun boy estranged from his native bayou country with his family on the grounds of a state mental asylum. Through extraodinary circumstances, he and his family are thrust to center stage in a drama involving fraud, McCarthyism and fallout from the Korean War.