word craft


Captain Grey

Captain Grey

Pan­theon, 1976

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audio book nar­rat­ed by 
Ron Keith

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What’s this book about?

Fol­low­ing the Rev­o­lu­tion, an eleven-year-old boy becomes the cap­tive of a ruth­less man who has set up his own “nation,” sup­port­ed by pira­cy, on a remote part of the New Jer­sey coast.

Young Kevin Cartwright is the pris­on­er of a pirate king.

“I shall find a way to get free.”

“Free!” he shout­ed. “You are here, with us now. You can for­get about your father and your sis­ter, or any­body else you may have known. You belong to no nation but this nation. Put him back where he was and don’t feed him. Tomor­row we shall talk again about freedom!”

Story Behind the Story

In the sum­mer of 1975, I was work­ing as a librar­i­an, and try­ing to write. My first two books had been pub­lished. But, still need­ing to work full time at some­thing oth­er than writ­ing, and hav­ing worked at the New York Pub­lic Library for about ten years, I took a librarian’s job at Tren­ton State Col­lege (now The Col­lege of New Jer­sey) where I was hired as a reader’s advis­er, with a focus on the arts and lit­er­a­ture. It was a some­what unusu­al posi­tion inso­far as I was a mem­ber of the fac­ul­ty which, among oth­er perks, meant I would have my sum­mers off—to write, of course. That’s why I took the job.

Being in New Jer­sey I did what I always did when in a new place: read some of its history.

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