Books by Norman Zollinger

THE ROAD TO SANTA FE by Norman Zollinger
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

"Though he was halfway through a sequel to Meridian, Zollinger's farewell finds him in top form and with a lively grasp of the law."
Posthumous novel from Zollinger (the huge and well-received Meridian: A Novel of Kit Carson's West, 1997), much admired for his historical fiction and for his writer's workshop in Taos. Much of his work appeared in mass-market paperbacks, this being his third hardcover for Forge. Read full book review >
MERIDIAN by Norman Zollinger
Released: June 27, 1997

Captain John C. FrÇmont's 1845 topographical expedition to California and the US war with Mexico serve as the backdrops for an engaging tale of a young America's westering imperatives. Soon after joining the force gathering along the Arkansas River for FrÇmont's third trek west of the 100th meridian, Bradford Stone, a young Harvard grad with mapmaking skills and artistic gifts, is befriended by Kit Carson, his boyhood idol. Before their journey starts, the legendary trapper takes him home to Taos, where he meets and falls in love with Ana Barrag†n, the spirited daughter of a local grandee. Though promised to Luis Aragon, a new amigo of Brad's, she reciprocates his ardor, and he unwittingly leaves lovely Ana great with child. On the trail with Carson and FrÇmont, the greenhorn proves his mettle in deadly clashes with marauding Indians. After much adventure and hardship, the half-starved explorers reach California, which is awash in rumors that the US and Mexico are at war. Under the command of FrÇmont, Brad participates in the Bear Flag Rebellion and other comic-opera campaigns. Sent back east with dispatches after more than a year in the wilderness, he learns his beloved Ana (who was hastily married off to Luis) has died in mysterious circumstances along with her infant son. Although heartbroken, he accepts a post as aide to the military governor of New Mexico. Brad also renews acquaintance with Luis and, at the risk of his life, rides hell for leather out of Santa Fe to warn Taos of an upcoming revolt. He plays a role in suppressing this bloody insurrection and has a final confrontation with Don Bernardo Barrag†n, one its leaders. Zollinger (Chapultepec, 1995, etc.) brings his characters- -especially the estimable Carson and charismatic FrÇmont—to vivid life in a historical setting suffused in violence and romance. A fine tale of Americans along their way toward manifest destiny. Read full book review >
CHAPULTEPEC by Norman Zollinger
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

Mexican history again serves as a backdrop for Zollinger (Not of War Only, 1994), this time in an ambitious story of the French imperial adventure of the 1860s. Having left the US Army after the Mexican War and joined the famous French Foreign Legion, Captain Jason James is back in Mexico to prepare the way for Napoleon III's establishment of a Catholic empire in Central America with the Austrian Prince, Maximilian, on the throne. The valiant, handsome James must face ghosts from the past, most notably a death threat from a cousin who, like the US, is conveniently distracted by the American Civil War. Meanwhile, Sarah Anderson, beautiful, Boston-bred, and French-educated, also arrives in Mexico to handle the affairs of her murdered brother. Joined by American Marine Lieutenant Matt O'Leary and Cipi, a dwarf gifted with prophecy, among other soldiers and servants, the pair becomes enmeshed in the politics of France's adventure in Mexico. Both Jason and Sarah are expatriate Americans, but each is also faced with divided loyalties: Sarah is friend to Maximilian's consort, Carlotta, yet develops an affinity for Benito Juarez and his revolutionaries; and when Jason becomes a colonel in the Mexican Imperial Army, he's divided between sworn duty and deep commitments to his native democratic principles. Falling in love, the two wrestle through their conflicts against the background of a Mexico ripped apart by internal politics and bloody warfare; not only will their love last, but because of their social and political connections, they'll find themselves on hand for most of the important events in the short, tragic rein of Maximilian I. Few of the characters ever really come to life, and Zollinger's dialogue is bitten to death by anachronisms (``jettison,'' ``completely looney''); but the story is romantic and the history is real, giving a pull to this blood-and-dust tale of mid-19th-century politics south of the border. Read full book review >
NOT OF WAR ONLY by Norman Zollinger
Released: May 10, 1994

Nineteen hundred and fourteen was a good year for Corey Lane and Jorge Martinez, the heroes of Zollinger's (Lautrec, 1990, etc.) novel, though neither knew it when Lane, the sheriff of Chupadera County, N.M., chased the fugitive Martinez into enlisting in Pancho Villa's Division Del Norte. By year's end, both would fall in love with Mexico, the Revolution, and beautiful Mexican women. The Mexican Revolution, with its convoluted politics and terrible brutalities, is the context of this novel. Young Jorge, an intelligent and sensitive Mexican-American, joins the Revolution because he believes in it and believes he is a fugitive. Both tough and literate, he is singled out for promotion, rising as the aide to a regimental commander. Corey, lawman, veteran of the Spanish- American War, and erstwhile historian, is tough and romantic. Recruited to spy for the US by a former comrade in arms, he moves through the Mexican Revolution with a diminutive Scotsman, an agent of the British Empire, witnessing bloody battles, fruitless negotiations, and barren embassy affairs. We see the struggle from within and without. Jorge's view is the soldier's: dusty, battle- weary, tense. Jorge, his idealism tempered but not crushed, becomes as much concerned with the politics of the division as with those of the Revolution. Corey's experiences, though adventurous and risky, are those of the outside observer. As much as he wants to influence policy and events, he is locked out. Both Corey and Jorge establish deep friendships with comrades and ardent affairs with women. Jorge's affair with Juanita Duran aids the narrative, while Corey's affair is an intrusion. Generally, Jorge is more interesting than Lane, but both are sympathetic and evolve in credible ways. Two small, interwoven stories within a large and colorful tapestry. (Author tour) Read full book review >