He Sleeps by Reginald McKnight
A Novel

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Synopsis

In this prize-winning author's most ambitious book to date, an African-American anthropologist trying to "find himself" in Senegal instead finds himself caught in a surreal web of deception and betrayal

Bertrand, a young African-American anthropologist, has ostensibly come to Senegal to do field research. But in truth, he left his home in Denver to gain a fresh perspective on his troubled marriage. Struggling to fit in with his new Senegalese family -- Alaine, his wife Kene, and their young daughter -- Bertrand finds himself, for the first time in his life, haunted by surreal and increasingly violent dreams. His waking hours are no less sinister; unwittingly, it seems, Bertrand has become caught in the tension -- sexual and otherwise -- building between the married couple. His relations with the rest of the village community are also strained; he can't escape the sensation that he's being set up for a grand-scale betrayal. As his sense of isolation and alienation escalates, he comes to believe that not only his fragile sense of identity -- but his very life -- is at stake.
A riveting tour de force, He Sleeps confirms Reginald McKnight's status as a writer of vivid imagination and exceptional talent.
 

About Reginald McKnight

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Reginald McKnight teaches at the University of Michigan. He has received an NEA grant, an O. Henry Award, a Whiting Award, and the Drue Heinz Literature Prize. His previous work includes Moustapha's Eclipse, I Get on the Bus, The Kind of Light That Shines on Texas, and, most recently, White Boys.
 
Published September 13, 2001 by Henry Holt and Co.. 224 pages
Genres: Horror, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for He Sleeps

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The two most haunting stories in Reginald McKnight's 1998 collection of short stories, ''White Boys,'' are ''He Sleeps'' and ''Palm Wine.'' Their protagonist is an African-American anthropologist named Bertrand Milworth, who comes to a village near Dakar, Senegal, to collect folk tales in the Wol...

Oct 28 2001 | Read Full Review of He Sleeps: A Novel

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