The Natchez Odyssey,
Mary-Louise Christovich and Roulhac Toledano
This fictional history shows how people worlds apart are hurled into the Mississippi Valley to a New World ruled by water and climate and by overseas power. Their daily lives and passions pitch men and women, French, Canadian, African and Indian, into the storm that is Louisiana as cultures clash to change all their lives. Both amiable and disreputable characters inhabit the early French colony. Innocent settlers and natives are caught in the military and political net of self-motivated superiors who justify their actions as they lust for power and wealth. Men and women of varying backgrounds, cultures, traditions, and races react to the New World and to each other. Their daily lives are interwoven in a tale as real, as brutal, as it is enchanting and poignant.
Nankowetco explores the life of the Natchez Indian Lepage Du Pratz. French peers called him Lepage, and natives addressed him as Nankowetco (The Man Who Cares). Du Pratz sympathized with the native resistance to French Control during 1716-1734, refusing to become enslaved by the French. The French in turn were determined to prevail against the Indians to the point of annihilation. Not only an Indian hero, Du Pratz was an enlightened man, a scientist and observer.
Mary Louise Christovich and Roulhac Toledano began writing together when they curated exhibitions and designed and wrote catalogues for the Louisiana State Museum where Christovich was developing The Friends of the Cabildo. They conceived, then edited and wrote together the first half dozen books of the influential and acclaimed series New Orleans Architecture. Mary Louise Christovich is presently spotlighted as president of the Kemper and Leila Williams Foundation in New Orleans, spearheading a development program for The Historic New Orleans Collection and the Williams Research Center. Roulhac Toledano is working in Washington with Warren Robbins, founder of The National Museum of African Art, on his epistolary biography. She writes environmental and academic travel pieces and she lectures throughout the country on preservation of port cities of the South while continuing her work renovating and restoring historic buildings.
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