Verso, Hardcover, 9781844673421, 396pp.
Publication Date: October 5, 2009
A bloody historical epic of exodus and return, torn loyalties and desperate battles, Manituana spans the Atlantic, from the forests of America’s northeast to the underworld of eighteenth-century London. The authors’ collective Wu Ming have created a genre-breaking reimagining of the American War of Independence. A story from the wrong side of history.
1775 – The conflict between the British Empire and the American colonies erupts in all-out war. Rebels and loyalists to the British Crown compete for the alliance with the Six Nations of the Iroquois, the most powerful Indian confederation, boasting a constitution hundreds of years old. In the Mohawk Valley, Native Americans and colonists have co-existed for generations. But as the thunder of war approaches and the nascent United States struggles violently to be born, old bonds are broken, friends and families are split by betrayal and this mixed community is riven by hatred and resentment. To save his threatened world, the Mohawk war chief Joseph Brantmakes a painful decision. Setting off with a group of warriors, he leaves the only land he has ever known in a restless journey that will take him from New York to the salons of Georgian London at the heart of the British Empire, knowing that the road back will be paved with war.
Wu Ming is a collective of five Italian fiction writers, founded in Bologna in January 2000. They co-authored a number of books including 54 and the bestselling novel Q, under the previous pseudonym “Luther Blissett.”
Shaun Whiteside has translated from German works by Freud, Schnitzler, Musil and Nietzsche, and, most recently, The Weekend by Bernhard Schlink (2011). His translation of Magdalena the Sinner by Lilian Faschinger won the 1996 Schlegel-Tieck Award. He lives in London.
“Wu Ming manage to construct stories articulated around the muscular fibres of history ... Manituana is not only a narrative about what could have been, but a cartography of the possible.”—Roberto Saviano