A Provocative Story for the Eyes, Ears, and Imagination
Join a self-exiled carpenter and the teenage daughter he aims to protect as they struggle to rise above the cynicism of a cold-blooded world. The Slide That Buried Rightful will confound your most deeply-held assumptions about right and wrong.
“A desperate search for survivors in the wake of an unfathomable tragedy skillfully frames this fast-paced, emotionally resonant tale featuring fine characterization.”
About The Slide That Buried Rightful
Can we rise above the cynicism of a cold-blooded world?
In 1921, a disaffected carpenter named Garris and his teenage daughter, Yvetta—of whom he is highly protective—arrive in Rightful, a small Arctic Alaskan village whose store Garris has been hired to repair.
Rightful was established during the gold rush decades earlier, and though the gold is gone, its founder and inhabitants are eager to see the village grow and prosper. They convince a skeptical Garris to stay and build a Meeting House for the natives at a nearby Eskimo camp, where Yvetta will teach.
Yvetta begins sharing intimacies of body and spirit with the son of an Eskimo elder, while Garris forms a deep connection with his half-white sister. But when Tom Astley, a miscreant trapper, attacks the Eskimo camp, all agree that something must be done. In the absence of law enforcement, their efforts founder.
Then the violence escalates, culminating in Astley’s abduction of Yvetta, and Garris makes the fateful decision to take justice into his own hands . . .
With penetrating observation and empathy, The Slide That Buried Rightful confounds our assumptions about right and wrong, and drives us headlong toward a new understanding of earthly—and unearthly—justice.
About the Book
A Q&A with Rich Shapero
Q: The value system in The Slide That Buried Rightful is all-important, but as I was reading, I was warring with myself, trying to sort out what was “rightful” and what wasn’t.
RS: The sorriest thing about the human condition, I think, is the desire for simple answers. And nowhere is that desire more lamentable than in the moral sphere—the determination of right and wrong, just or unjust. We want things to be so much simpler than they are.
Q: The question that Garris faces is one that we all have to answer, sooner or later.
RS: I think so. There’s no way to ignore it.More About the Book
About the Art, Animations and Music
A Q&A with Rich Shapero
Q: As with your other projects, Rightful has an unusual intersection of words, music and visual art.
RS: When I was younger, William Blake made a big impression on me. He was successful in creating a form of expression that was uniquely his. That’s been my goal—to knit together a body of ideas and an approach to language and storytelling, art and music that is original and distinctive.
Q: The Rightful artwork was commissioned for the project.
RS: We needed a painter with a visionary leaning, who could portray the other-worldly aspects of the slide and the things those buried might have experienced. At the same time, the story occurs a century ago, so we didn’t want the pieces to have a modern look. We needed an antique surrealist. Paul Rumsey was perfect. I think the paintings capture the power and mystery of the event, while preserving the helplessness and humility of those caught up in it; and his two-tone palette gives it the sense of history and a time past.