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John Sayles with Zoë Elton – Jamie MacGillivray: The Renegade's Journey

Presented by Book Passage at Book Passage, Corte Madera, Corte Madera CA

Mar 01 2023
John Sayles with Zoë Elton – Jamie MacGillivray: The Renegade's Journey

John Sayles photo courtesy of Mary Cybulski

Author Event: Thrilling historical & cinematic epic…spanning 13yrs, 2 continents, several wars…

In-person author event

* Wednesday, March 1, 6:00 pm

Spanning 13 years, two continents, several wars, and many smoke-filled and bloody battlefields, John Sayles’s thrilling historical and cinematic epic invites comparison with Diana Gabaldon, George R. R. Martin, Phillippa Gregory, and Charles Dickens.

It begins in the highlands of Scotland in 1746, at the Battle of Culloden, the last desperate stand of the Stuart ‘pretender’ to the throne of the Three Kingdoms, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and his rabidly loyal supporters.  Vanquished with his comrades by the forces of the Hanoverian (and Protestant) British crown, the novel’s eponymous hero, Jamie MacGillivray, narrowly escapes a roadside execution only to be recaptured by the victors and shipped to Marshalsea Prison (central to Charles Dickens’s Hard Times) where he cheats the hangman a second time before being sentenced to transportation and indentured servitude in colonial America “for the term of his natural life.”  His travels are paralleled by those of Jenny Ferguson, a poor, village girl swept up on false charges by the English and also sent in chains to the New World.

The novel follows Jamie and Jenny through servitude, revolt, escape, and romantic entanglements — pawns in a deadly game.  The two continue to cross paths with each other and with some of the leading figures of the era- the devious Lord Lovat, future novelist Henry Fielding, the artist William Hogarth, a young and ambitious George Washington, the doomed General James Wolfe, and the Lenape chief feared throughout the Ohio Valley as Shingas the Terrible.

John Sayles is an American independent film director, screenwriter, actor, and novelist. He has twice been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, for Passion Fish (1992) and Lone Star (1996). He has written seven novels, the most recent being Yellow Earth (2020) and A Moment in the Sun (2011).

Most of us in the Bay Area and certainly in Marin County know Zoë Elton as the Director of Programming for the Mill Valley Film Festival in Northern California and Founder of the festival’s Mind the Gap segment of the festival which is an initiative dedicated to achieving gender equity in the film industry. Maybe more unknown to us about Zoë is that she is a Herefordian (England) by birth though many years in the San Francisco Bay Area has made her Oaklandish by avocation. She’s a film curator, writer, interviewer and cartoonist, who’s also a, book nerd. Her first. loves were poetry and theater.


Free Admission

Contact: (415) 927-0960


    Official Website

Additional time info:

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Book Passage, Corte Madera

51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA 94925


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