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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Forrest Gump has nothing on Lee Cotton, the charismatic protagonist of Wilson's second novel, whose exploits provide a humorous, clever, and provocative look at 20th-century America.
Mississippi, 1950. Lee is born a black baby with milky white skin, the result of a dalliance between his black mother and an Icelandic seaman. The local reverend surmises that Lee is God's way of showing "that He's got himself an Almighty sense of humor," but Lee's strange appearance is just one of the ways in which he fails to conform to the world around him. For Lee has a gift of hearing other people's thoughts that also sets him apart -- and gets him into plenty of trouble when he repeats those thoughts aloud. Lee's confounding presence causes ripples of tension everywhere he goes: Where should he go to school? Where should he sit on the bus? And whom is he supposed to date? It even leads to a run-in with Klan members that will set Lee on a course that leads to undreamed-of challenges.
Like nothing you've read before, Cotton is a big, rollicking novel, introducing a unique and highly sympathetic character who comes face-to-face with the politics of segregation, the Vietnam War, and the women's movement. (Holiday 2005 Selection)