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The Cattle Killing (Signed)

Wideman, John Edgar

Published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston / New York, 1996
ISBN 10: 0395785901 / ISBN 13: 9780395785904
/ Condition: Fine / Hardcover
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About the Book

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Cattle Killing (Signed)

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, Boston / New York

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition.


Cloth-backed paper over boards. Signed by Wideman on the title-page. Bookseller Inventory # GK2024

About this title:

Book ratings provided by Goodreads:
3.62 avg rating
(117 ratings)

Synopsis: A major literary event by " one of America's premier writers of fiction" (New York Times) and two-time winner of the prestigious PEN/Faulkner Award, The Cattle Killing, John Edgar Wideman's first novel in six years, is certain to galvanize national attention. It is a fiercely lyrical, passionate, and revealing novel that attempts to reconfigure the paradigm of race. Spanning two centuries and three continents, the novel is a powerful, mythic book certain to provoke and inspire. In plague-ridden eighteenth-century Philadelphia, a young itinerant black preacher searches for a mysterious, endangered African woman. His struggle to find her and save them both plummets him into the nightmare of a society violently splitting itself into white and black, white over black. Spiraling outward from the core image of a cattle killing - the Xhosa people's ritual destruction of their herd in a vain attempt to resist European domination - the novel expands its narrator's search for meaning and love in

Review: Set in Philadelphia in 1793, when the city was afflicted by an epidemic of yellow fever, Wideman's novel is narrated by a young black preacher whose mind seems unhinged by the terrible events he is witnessing. His apocalyptic visions reflect the confusion and delirium around him. The rich white citizens of the city are mostly shutting themselves in and sending their black servants out into the fever-ridden streets. One prominent historical figure, Dr. Benjamin Rush (Dr. Thrush in the novel), is portrayed in a very ambivalent relationship with a black servant girl. Wideman, who has dealt in a more documentary style with the epidemic in a previous collection of short stories, Fever, here combines vision, hallucination, dream, and African legend in a complex metaphorical novel.

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