Out on 11 April 2024

James

Percival Everett

11 April 2024
9781035031252
600 pages

Synopsis

Selected as one of the top ten reads of 2024 by The Times and Sunday Times

'Percival Everett is a giant of American letters, and JAMES is a canon-shatteringly great book' – Hernan Diaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Trust
'Who should read this book? Every single person in the country' –
Ann Patchett, bestselling author of Tom Lake

JAMES is an enthralling and ferociously funny novel that leaves an indelible mark, inspiring us to see Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in a wholly new and transformative light. Shortlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize for his novel The Trees, Percival Everett is one of the most decorated writers of our lifetime.

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, towards the elusive promise of the 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
JAMES is funny and horrifying, brilliant and riveting. In telling the story of Jim instead of Huckleberry Finn, Percival Everett delivers a powerful, necessary corrective to both literature and history. I found myself cheering both the writer and his hero. Who should read this book? Every single person in the country
Pure brilliance. Funny, wise, gracious; this may be Everett's best book yet