A Tale of the American Revolution
W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393064971, 479pp.
Publication Date: February 17, 2008
List Price: $25.95*
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Johnny One-Eye is bringing about the rediscovery of one of the most "singular and remarkable careers] in American literature" (Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World). In this picaresque tour de force that reanimates Revolutionary Manhattan through the story of double agent John Stocking, the bastard son of a whorehouse madam and possibly George Washington, Jerome Charyn has given us one of the most memorable historical novels in years. As Johnny seeks to unlock the mystery of his birth and grapples with his allegiances, he falls in love with Clara, a gorgeous, green-eyed octoroon, the most coveted harlot of Gertrude's house. The wild parade of characters he encounters includes Benedict Arnold, the Howe brothers, "Sir Billy" and "Black Dick," and a manipulative Alexander Hamilton.Not since John Barth's The Sotweed Factor and Gore Vidal's Burr has a novel so dramatically re-created America's historical beginnings. Reading group guide included.