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Nell FreudenbergerLeavitt has a passion to inhabit the past, a particular novelistic impulse that goes beyond simple "animation" of history. The research that went into The Indian Clerk is impressive, but a good historical novelist has to do much more than get the facts right: he has to illuminate the relationship of his own time to the period he's writing about. The Indian Clerk is a story about guilt. It's about the impulse to save a foreign stranger (in spite of the fact that your idea of his country is no more than a couple of colorful cliches), and a story about a war in which the boys who die are most often poorer than the ones who stay at home. Reading it offers the pleasure of escape into another world, along with the nagging feeling of familiarity that characterizes the best historical fiction.
—The New York Times