'Percival Everett is a giant of American letters, and James is a canon-shatteringly great book' – Hernan Diaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Trust
From the Booker Prize-shortlisted author of The Trees
James is an enthralling and ferociously funny novel that leaves an indelible mark, forcing us to see Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in a wholly new and transformative light.
The Mississippi River, 1861. When the enslaved Jim overhears that he is about to be sold to a new owner in New Orleans and separated from his wife and daughter forever, he decides to hide on nearby Jackson’s Island until he can formulate a plan. Meanwhile, Huck Finn has faked his own death to escape his violent father who recently returned to town.
Thus begins a dangerous and transcendent journey by raft along the Mississippi River, toward the elusive promise of free states and beyond. As James and Huck begin to navigate the treacherous waters, each bend in the river holds the promise of both salvation and demise.
With rumours of a brewing war, James must face the burden he carries: the family he is desperate to protect and the constant lie he must live. And together, the unlikely pair must face the most dangerous odyssey of them all . . .
From the shadows of Huck Finn’s mischievous spirit, Jim emerges to reclaim his voice, defying the conventions that have consigned him to the margins.
Percival Everett is a giant of American letters, and James is a canon-shatteringly great book. Unforgiving and compassionate, beautiful and brutal, a tragedy and a farce, this brilliant novel rewrites literary history to let us hear the voices it has long suppressed
Hernan Diaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Trust
The unsung Jonathan Swift of modern American fiction
It's about time this extraordinary American writer got some credit this side of the Pond
Sunday Times on The Trees