Author interview on Fox CT [WATCH VIDEO]
During the 1990s two Connecticut Indian tribes built the world’s two biggest gambling casinos in the southeastern corner of the state, resulting in what has been termed a “gambling Chernobyl.”
The Curse is a novel based on those events.
It begins in 1637 with the massacre of the Pequot Indians and a curse delivered by a Pequot sachem to the young English soldier who is about to kill him. The story then jumps 350 years as the soldier’s thirteenth-generation descendant, Josh Williams, becomes embroiled in a battle to stop a newly-minted Indian tribe from building a third casino that threatens his town and ancestral home.
The lure of easy money drives everyone, from the tribe’s chief to a shadowy Miami billionaire, venal politicians, and Providence mobsters, while a small, quintessential New England town must choose between preserving its character or accepting an extraordinary proposal that will change it forever.
As the battle over the casino reaches a climax, Josh discovers startling truths about his family’s past—including centuries-old events that appear to be impacting the present with devastating effect.
The two Connecticut casinos, Foxwoods, owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, and Mohegan Sun, owned by the Mohegan Tribe, were made possible by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which Congress passed in 1988 to allow Indian tribes to open casinos on their reservations as a means of creating jobs and income for their tribal communities. As it turned out, the act not only legalized Indian-owned casinos, but prompted a growing number of states to legalize “commercial” casinos, as part of their own efforts to generate jobs and tax revenue. The rapid growth of both Indian and commercial casinos resulted in a massive expansion of casino gambling across the United States.