Thomas Bayly and his wife, Beal, have run away to France, escaping the laws and prejudices of post-Reconstruction America. The drama in this richly textured novel proceeds in two settings: first in Paris, and then in the Languedoc, where Thomas and Beal begin a new life as winemakers. A moving and delicate portrait of a highly unusual marriage, Thomas and Beal in the Midi is a radiant work of deep insight and peerless imagination about the central dilemma of American history—the legacy of slavery and the Civil War—that explores the many ways that the past has an enduring hold over the present.
Christopher Tilghman is the author of two short-story collections (In a Father’s Place and The Way People Run), and three previous novels (The Right-Hand Shore, Mason’s Retreat, and Roads of the Heart). He is a professor of English at the University of Virginia and lives with his wife, the novelist Caroline Preston, in Charlottesville, Virginia, and in Centreville, Maryland.