Doctorow's new novel is set towards the end of the American Civil War and follows General Sherman's epic march with sixty thousand Union troops through Georgia and the Carolinas, one of the major manoeuvres to bring the war to its conclusion. THE MARCH ranges widely over a diverse set of characters - each of whom is brilliantly realised - so that we see the war through the eyes of both white-skinned Pearl (daughter of slave and slave owner) and General Sherman; a deserting confederate who sets himself up as a photographer; a ruthless army surgeon who enjoys his reputation as an amputator; and the two brothers of a brutal slave owner who find themselves in uniforms facing Sherman's forces.
Doctorow's narrative brilliantly blends the intimate and the epic, sweeping the reader along the route of Sherman's notorious march and making us care deeply about each individual's fate.
E. L. Doctorow's novels include Andrew's Brain, Homer and Langley, The March, City of God, Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, Loon Lake, Lives of the Poets, World's Fair, Billy Bathgate and The Waterworks. Among his honours are the National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle awards, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction, the William Dean Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal. He died in July 2015.