Oxherding Tale

Oxherding Tale

by Charles Johnson
     
 

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One night in the antebellum South, a slave owner and his African-American butler stay up to all hours until, too drunk to face their wives, they switch places in each other's beds. The result is a hilarious imbroglio and an offspring — Andrew Hawkins, whose life becomes Oxherding Tale.
Through sexual escapades, picaresque adventures, and

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Overview

One night in the antebellum South, a slave owner and his African-American butler stay up to all hours until, too drunk to face their wives, they switch places in each other's beds. The result is a hilarious imbroglio and an offspring — Andrew Hawkins, whose life becomes Oxherding Tale.
Through sexual escapades, picaresque adventures, and philosophical inquiry, Hawkins navigates white and black worlds and comments wryly on human nature along the way. Told with pure genius, Oxherding Tale is a deliciously funny, bitterly ironic account of slavery, racism, and the human spirit; and it reveals the author as a great talent with even greater humanity.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A work of courage and compassion, virtuosity and intelligence."
The Village Voice

"I laughed. I cried. I thought. I marveled. Oxherding Tale is a beautiful book. Its language is extraordinary, its writing is crisp, clean, smooth, even in its complexity, and terribly affecting. It is masterful craft of the highest order."
— August Wilson

"A wonderfully funny, erotic, bittersweet story....Johnson presents a fable about racial difference and...[he] doesn't make light of the load, but makes the burden of its telling sweeter with Dickensian twists of plot and with outrageous characters.
Chicago Sun-Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743264495
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
02/01/2005
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
287,565
Product dimensions:
0.47(w) x 5.00(h) x 8.00(d)

Meet the Author

Charles Johnson, a 1998 MacArthur fellow, is the S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Endowed Professor of English at the University of Washington in Seattle. His fiction includes Dr. King's Refrigerator, Dreamer, and Middle Passage, for which he won the National Book Award. In 2002 he received the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Seattle.

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