Literary Arts Instructor Co-Authors Historical Novel About Two Boys Fighting for Survival on Foreign Seas Monday, April 29, 2019
Marshall Highet, part-time instructor for the Department of Literary Arts and Social Justice, recently co-authored the book Hold Fast, a novel taking place off the coast of Italy in 1761 in which 13-year-old Joseph Carlos and his cousin have just been kidnapped by the British Navy and pressed into service on the Deptford, a British man of war.
Highet explains the book as follows:
“Just the day before, the two boys were happily sailing with their uncle on a routine merchant passage, dreaming of owning their own ship one day and returning home to the warmth and safety of their family.
What was supposed to be a 'punishment' for a childish misadventure turns into a fight for survival on foreign seas. The boys have to rely on each other as they struggle with a new world of unfathomable rules and codes, near-death floggings, lethal storms and intrigue. Their endurance depends not only on their own bravery and stamina, but on how fast they can learn English.
For the next two years, the ship becomes their prison, their classroom and their home. Eventually, Joseph Carlos has to make a choice that shapes what kind of person he becomes.”
At Point Park, Highet teaches undergraduate courses in College Composition, The Short Story and Intro to Literature.
“This book, which began as a ghost-writing project for my co-author, Bird Jones, and then morphed into a joint project, can be used in classrooms to teach principles of navigation and history,” Highet said.
Highet added: “We're hard at work on a second book in a series about immigration.”