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Allan W. Eckert (born January 30, 1931) is an American historian, historical novelist, and naturalist.

Contents

Biography

Eckert was born in Buffalo, New York and raised in the Chicago, Illinois area, but has been a long-time resident of Bellefontaine, Ohio, near where he attended university. As a young man, he hitch-hiked around the United States, living off the land and learning about wildlife. He began writing about nature and American history at the age of thirteen, eventually becoming an author of numerous distinguished books for children and adults. Seven of his books have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in literature. One of his novels tells how the Great Auk went extinct.

In addition to his highly popular novels he has also written several screenplays and more than 225 "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" television shows for which he received an Emmy Award.

In a 1999 poll conducted by the Ohioana Library Association, jointly with Toni Morrison, Allan W. Eckert was voted "Favorite Ohio Writer of All Time."

Dramatizations and adaptations

Eckert is the playwright of the outdoor drama entitled Tecumseh! which, in 1997, celebrated its 25th year of production at the multi-million-dollar Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheater near Chillicothe, Ohio. His book on Blue Jacket was dramatized for outdoor performances and opened in 1982 outside of Xenia, Ohio. The production was eventually closed due to financial difficulties, but not before it reported put over nine million dollars yearly into the local economy of southwest Ohio.[1]

Eckert's Pulitzer Prize-nominated book A Time of Terror: The Great Dayton Flood was adapted for the stage as 1913: The Great Dayton Flood by W. Stuart McDowell and Timothy Nevits in 1996 and performed at the Wright State University Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures, featuring recorded narration by Martin Sheen, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.[2] The production won a number of awards from the American College Theatre Festival XXIX at the Riffe Center, Columbus, Ohio, and subsequently opened the 1997 festival in the Kennedy Center, returning to Dayton that fall, where it played in the Victoria Theatre in Dayton.[3]

Criticism

Eckert has sparked controversy with his "hidden dialogue" technique in his historical narratives, using a novelist's technique to enhance dramatic events. After many years of research on a topic, he has felt free to recreate historical conversations and thoughts in what some critics have considered to be "an entertaining blend of fact and fiction"[4] purporting to be a straight biography. His colorful evocations of history have been praised as more accessible than drier, more strictly factual, accounts. However, what he has termed “narrative biography” has been criticized as “an apparent euphemism for poetic license” [5]. A Sorrow in Our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh in particular has been faulted as “A biography that succeeds better as fiction” which “in its interpretative zeal … strays from … the historical record to the point of being suspect”[6].

Bibliography

  • The Great Auk: A Novel; 1963, 2003 paperback reprint edition, Jesse Stuart Foundation, ISBN 1-931672-16-4.
  • A Time of Terror: The Great Dayton Flood; 1965; 1997 reprint edition with an Afterword by W. Stuart McDowell, Landfall Press, ISBN 0-913428-02-7.
  • The Silent Sky: The Incredible Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon; 1965; 2000 Paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-08963-1.
  • The Writer's Digest Course in Short Story Writing; 1965.
  • Wild Season; 1967; 1981 reprint edition, Landfall Press, ISBN 0-913428-32-9 (paperback: ISBN 0-913428-31-0).
  • The Frontiersmen: A Narrative; 1967; 2001 paperback reprint edition, Jesse Stuart Foundation; ISBN 0-945084-91-9.
  • with Marlin Perkins;Bayou Backwaters; 1967, 2000 reprint edition, Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-01101-6.
  • The Crossbreed; 1968, Little Brown & Company, ISBN 0-316-20851-5; 2000 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-08992-5.
  • Blue Jacket: War Chief of the Shawnees; 1968; 2003 reprint edition, Jesse Stuart Foundation, ISBN 1-931672-18-0, (paperback: ISBN 1-931672-20-2).
  • The King Snake; (Juvenile natural history) 1968; 1990 reprint, Scholastic, ISBN 0-590-42752-0; 2001 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-18006-X.
  • The Dreaming Tree; 1968; 2000 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-08989-5.
  • Wilderness Empire: A Narrative;1968; 2001 reprint edition, Jesse Stuart Foundation, ISBN 0-945084-98-6, (paperback: ISBN 1-931672-02-4).
  • In Search of a Whale; 1969, Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-03494-6.
  • The Conquerors; 1970; 2002 reprint edition, Jesse Stuart Foundation, ISBN 1-931672-06-7, (paperback: ISBN 1-931672-07-5).
  • Incident at Hawk's Hill; 1971; 1995 reprint edition, Little Brown & Company, ISBN 0-316-21905-3, (paperback: ISBN 0-316-20948-1).
  • The Court-Martial of Daniel Boone; 1973, Little Brown & Company, ISBN 0-316-20870-1; 2000 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-08990-9.
  • The Owls of North America, North of Mexico: All the Species and Subspecies Illustrated in Color and Fully Described; 1973, Doubleday Books, ISBN 0-385-04818-1.
  • Tecumseh!: A Play; 1975; 2000 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-08964-X.
  • The HAB Theory; 1976, Little Brown & Company, ISBN 0-316-20859-0; 2000 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-00820-8.
  • The Wilderness War, A Narrative; 1978; 2003 reprint edition, Jesse Stuart Foundation, ISBN 1-931672-13-X, (paperback: ISBN 1-931672-14-8).
  • The Wading Birds of North America: North of Mexico; 1978; 1987 reprint edition, Gramercy, ISBN 0-517-63229-2.
  • Savage Journey: A Novel"; (Juvenile literature); 1979, Little Brown & Company, ISBN 0-316-20876-0; 2001 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-18171-6.
  • Song of the Wild; (Juvenile literature); 1980, Little Brown & Co., ISBN 0-316-20877-9; 2000 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-08991-7.
  • Whattizzit Nature Pun Quizzes; (booklet) 1981, Landfall Press, ISBN 0-913428-30-2.
  • Gateway to Empire; 1982, Little Brown & Company, ISBN 0-316-20861-2; 1983 paperback edition, Bantam Books, ISBN 0-553-24118-4.
  • Johnny Logan: Shawnee Spy: A Novel; 1982, Little Brown & Co, ISBN 0-316-20880-9; 2001 Paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.Com, ISBN 0-595-16763-2.
  • Wilderness Empire, Number 2; 1982, Bantam Books, ISBN 0-553-22651-7.
  • The Dark Green Tunnel; (Juvenile fantasy); 1983, Little Brown & Co., ISBN 0-316-20881-7; 2000 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-08962-3.
  • The Wand: The Return to Mesmeria; (Juvenile fantasy) 1984, Little Brown & Co, ISBN 0-316-20882-5; 2001 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-18325-5.
  • The Scarlet Mansion; 1985, Little Brown & Company, ISBN 0-316-20883-3; 2000 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-08988-7.
  • Earth Treasures Volume 1: the Northeastern Quadrant; 1985; 2000 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-08958-5.
  • Earth Treasures Volume 2: the Southeastern Quadrant; 1985; 2000 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-08959-3.
  • Earth Treasures Volume 3: the Northwestern Quadrant; 1986; 2000 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-08960-7.
  • Earth Treasures Volume 4A: the Southwestern Quadrant; 1987; 2000 paperback reprint edition, Backinprint.com, ISBN 0-595-08961-5.
  • Twilight Of Empire; 1988, Little Brown & Company, ISBN 0-316-20886-8; 1989 paperback reprint edition, Bantam, ISBN 0-553-28059-7.
  • A Sorrow in Our Heart:: The Life of Tecumseh; 1992, Bantam Books, ISBN 0-553-08023-7; 1993 paperback reprint, Domain, ISBN 0-553-56174-X; 1995 paperback reprint, Smithmark Publishing, ISBN 0-8317-5817-1.
  • That Dark and Bloody River: Chronicles of the Ohio River Valley; 1995, Bantam Books, ISBN 0-553-09448-3, (paperback ISBN 0-553-37865-1).
  • The World of Opals; 1997, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0-471-13397-3.
  • Return to Hawk's Hill; 1998, Little Brown & Company, ISBN 0-316-21593-7, (paperback: ISBN 0-316-00689-0).

References

  1. ^ "Blue Jacket puts $9 million yearly into Greene County economy, Helen Bebbington, The Dayton Daily News, June 12, 2003.
  2. ^ This production was documented in 1997 reprint edition of A Time of Terror: The Great Dayton Flood, Landfall Press, 1997.
  3. ^ Program of the XXIX American College Theatre Festival, January, 2009, p. 60.
  4. ^ Publishers Weekly review (1992) of A Sorrow in Our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh/ It should also be noted, however, that the same publication praises his use of the technique to "present material in vivid detail".
  5. ^ Kirkus Reviews review (1991) of A Sorrow in Our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh
  6. ^ Kirkus Reviews (1991), Op. cit.

External links








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