Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg
A Novel

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There are some flourishes to this story that don't fit quite as well into the novel's interior conversation as they could, but Confessions of the Fox is an ambitious debut, and its exploration of this "impossible, ghostly archaeology" will have you looking askance at tidy histories — which feels like just what Jack and Bess would want.
-NPR

Synopsis

A love story set in the eighteenth-century London of notorious thieves and queer subcultures, this genre-bending debut tells a profound story of gender, desire, and liberation.

“Resonant of George Saunders, of Nikolai Gogol, and of nothing that’s ever been written before . . . irreverent, erudite, and not to be missed.”—Booklist (starred review)

Jack Sheppard and Edgeworth Bess were the most notorious thieves, jailbreakers, and lovers of eighteenth-century London. Yet no one knows the true story; their confessions have never been found.

Until now. Reeling from heartbreak, a scholar named Dr. Voth discovers a long-lost manuscript—a gender-defying exposé of Jack and Bess’s adventures. Dated 1724, the book depicts a London underworld where scamps and rogues clash with the city’s newly established police force, queer subcultures thrive, and ominous threats of the Plague abound. Jack—a transgender carpenter’s apprentice—has fled his master’s house to become a legendary prison-break artist, and Bess has escaped the draining of the fenlands to become a revolutionary. 

Is Confessions of the Fox an authentic autobiography or a hoax? Dr. Voth obsessively annotates the manuscript, desperate to find the answer. As he is drawn deeper into Jack and Bess’s tale of underworld resistance and gender transformation, it becomes clear that their fates are intertwined—and only a miracle will save them all.

Confessions of the Fox
is, at once, a work of speculative historical fiction, a soaring love story, a puzzling mystery, an electrifying tale of adventure and suspense, and an unabashed celebration of sex and sexuality. Writing with the narrative mastery of Sarah Waters and the playful imagination of Nabokov, Jordy Rosenberg is an audacious storyteller of extraordinary talent. 

Advance praise for Confessions of the Fox

“An ambitious, thought-provoking novel [that] explores everything from gender identity to mass incarceration, moves between centuries, and even features footnotes. . . . You’ll find yourself immersed, and maybe even changed.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Looking to get lost in a big, juicy historical novel? Look no further. Jordy Rosenberg’s debut tracks the Bonnie and Clyde of eighteenth-century London and the academic who’s obsessed with reading and heavily annotating an account of their lives. . . . A delight.”—Vulture

“Awesome.”—io9
 

About Jordy Rosenberg

See more books from this Author
 
Published June 26, 2018 by One World. 352 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Confessions of the Fox
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Apr 16 2018

...it’s in the service of this novel’s marvelous ambition: To show how easily marginalized voices are erased from our histories—and that restoring those voices is a disruptive project of devotion. A singular, daring, and thrilling novel: political, sexy, and cunning as a fox.

Read Full Review of Confessions of the Fox: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Genevieve Valentine on Jun 26 2018

There are some flourishes to this story that don't fit quite as well into the novel's interior conversation as they could, but Confessions of the Fox is an ambitious debut, and its exploration of this "impossible, ghostly archaeology" will have you looking askance at tidy histories — which feels like just what Jack and Bess would want.

Read Full Review of Confessions of the Fox: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

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