Admirers of Robert Hicks, the acclaimed author of Widow of the South will be very pleased to know that in a couple of weeks his new novel, A Separate Country, will appear. The new novel has as its main actor John Bell Hood and there are other connections, too, with Franklin, Tennessee. But the real hero of this remarkable new work is the city of New Orleans where Hood and others head to rebuild their lives and their fortunes. The Crescent City appears in all its racial, social, and economic complexity at a time following the Civil War when its “Americanization” was transforming its character. Separate Country will be published by Grand Central Publishing and is due out September 23.