A New Dream

Seven Dreams: A Book of North American Landscapes

Seven Dreams: A Book of North American Landscapes is a series of novels by William T. Vollmann concerned with the settlement of North America and the conflicts between the settlers and the natives. Each volume focuses on a different expedition in North American history, highlighted by digressions and chronological surprises, all narrated by  “William the Blind.” Eventually the series will consist of seven novels; four books have been published so far.

  • Volume 1: The Ice-Shirt (1990) is about the arrival of the Vikings in North America. [9th-10th cent.]
  • Volume 2: Fathers and Crows (1992) is about the efforts of Jesuit Missionaries in Canada. [16th-18th cent.]
  • Volume 3: Argall (2001), written in a seventeenth-century prose style, is about the settlement of Jamestown. [17th cent.]
  • Volume 4: The Poison Shirt (unpublished), either “concerning the Puritans vs. King Philip of Rhode Island,”[1] or Captain Cook’s voyage to Hawaii.[2] [17th or 18th cent.]
  • Volume 5: The Dying Grass (2013), “about the destruction of the Plains Indian tribes.”[3] [18th-19th cent.]
  • Volume 6: The Rifles (1994) is about Sir John Franklin’s attempt in 1845 to find the Northwest Passage to the Pacific, and also discusses Vollmann’s experiences among the 1990s Inuit. [19th-20th cent.]
  • Volume 7: The Cloud-Shirt (unpublished), “Navajo vs. Hopi (or possibly Navajo vs. oil company) in Arizona.”[4] [20th cent.]

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