Robert Hicks: Hachette Speakers Bureau

Robert Hicks

Best-Selling Author

Robert Hicks is renowned for his powerful historical novels. Hailed as a novel of “lyrical beauty and arresting images” by People Magazine, Hick’s New York Times best-selling debut novel, The Widow of the South, tells the extraordinary tale of the plantation owner Carrie McGavock, as well as the Civil War Battle of Franklin and its long aftermath. His most recent novel, A Separate Country, follows the controversial Civil War General John Bell Hood into his life after the war. A richly depicted history of New Orleans, the Times Picayune praises the story for conjuring “an all-enveloping, passionately rendered past, beautiful and hallucinatory…a powerful evocation of New Orleans as it was in 1879.”

At the podium, Hicks takes the audience inside Carrie McGavock’s world. In 1894 McGavock is an old woman who has only her former slave to keep her company…and the almost 1,500 soldiers buried in her backyard. The story flashes back thirty years to the afternoon of the Battle of Franklin, five of the bloodiest hours of the Civil War. There were 9,200 casualties that fateful day. McGavock’s home—the Carnton plantation—was taken over by the Confederate army and turned into a hospital; four generals lay dead on her back porch; the pile of amputated limbs rose as tall as the smoke house. And when a wounded soldier named Zachariah Cashwell arrived and awakened feelings she had thought long dead, McGavock found herself inexplicably drawn to him despite the boundaries of class and decorum. The story that ensues between her and Cashwell is just as unforgettable as the battle from which it is drawn. Hicks weaves an unforgettable, panoramic tale of, not only of the battle, but ultimately of community, loss, healing and love.

Hicks’s second presentation is drawn from his latest novel, A Separate Country. Set in New Orleans in the years after the Civil War, it’s the heartrending story of a decent and good man who struggled with his inability to admit his failures—and the story of those who taught him to love, and to be loved, which transformed him. The man is John Bell Hood, arguably one of the most controversial generals of the Confederate Army—and one of its most tragic figures. Robert E. Lee promoted him to major general after the battle of Antietam. But the Civil War would mark him forever. At Gettysburg, he lost the use of his left arm. At the Battle of Chickamauga, his right leg was amputated. Starting fresh after the war, he married Anna Marie Hennen and fathered 11 children with her, including three sets of twins. But fate had other plans. Crippled by his war wounds and defeat, ravaged by financial misfortune, Hood had one last foe to battle: Yellow Fever.

In addition to writing, Hicks has been active in the music industry in Nashville for twenty years as both a music publisher and artist manager. A partner in the B. B. King’s Blues Clubs in Nashville, Memphis and Los Angeles, he serves as ‘Curator of Vibe’ of the corporation. He served as co-curator on the exhibition, “Art of Tennessee,” at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. He was also co-editor of the exhibition’s award-winning catalog, Art of Tennessee.

Hicks has been the driving force behind the preservation and restoration of the historic Carnton plantation in Tennessee, serving multiple times as president of its board. It was here that he stumbled upon the extraordinary role that Carrie McGavock, “the Widow of the South,” played during and after the Battle of Franklin. He has also served on the Boards of the Tennessee State Museum, The Williamson County Historical Society, and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. He’s currently heading up Franklin’s Charge: A Vision and Campaign for the Preservation of Historic Open Space, the fight to secure and preserve both battlefield and other historic open space in Williamson County.

Interested in booking Robert Hicks to speak at your next event?

Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau.


  • A Separate Country
  • The Widow of the South

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