Oxherding Tale by Charles Johnson
A Novel

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One night in the antebellum South, a slave owner and his African-American butler stay up to all hours until, too drunk to face their wives, they switch places in each other's beds. The result is a hilarious imbroglio and an offspring -- Andrew Hawkins, whose life becomes Oxherding Tale.
Through sexual escapades, picaresque adventures, and philosophical inquiry, Hawkins navigates white and black worlds and comments wryly on human nature along the way. Told with pure genius, Oxherding Tale is a deliciously funny, bitterly ironic account of slavery, racism, and the human spirit; and it reveals the author as a great talent with even greater humanity.

About Charles Johnson

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Dr. Charles Johnson, a 1998 MacArthur fellow, is the S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Endowed Professor of English at the University of Washington in Seattle. His fiction includes Dr. King's Refrigerator, Dreamer, and Middle Passage, for which he won the National Book Award. In 2002 he received the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Seattle.
Published February 28, 2005 by Simon & Schuster. 208 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

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While drunk one night, a white plantation-owner and his black butler swap wives—and the result is the birth of Andrew Hawkins, who is raised to be a mulatto mage under the direction of schoolmaster/mystic Ezekiel: ""I was not to touch silver, gold, or paper currency; nor was I allowed to li...

Oct 01 1982 | Read Full Review of Oxherding Tale: A Novel

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