Pym Mat Johnson

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Pym  by  Mat Johnson

Pym by Mat Johnson
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From Publishers Weekly November 29, 2010Social criticism rubs shoulders with cutting satire in this high-concept adventure from novelist and graphic novelist Johnson. Shortly after Chris Jaynes, a struggling blackademic at a small Hudson ValleyMoreFrom Publishers Weekly November 29, 2010Social criticism rubs shoulders with cutting satire in this high-concept adventure from novelist and graphic novelist Johnson. Shortly after Chris Jaynes, a struggling blackademic at a small Hudson Valley college who has a particular interest in Edgar Allan Poes Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, is passed over for tenure, he lucks into a copy of an unpublished 19th-century manuscript that suggests Poes novel, which was partially set in Antarctica, was drawn closely from truth.

From here, the story takes a forceful turn into the weird and funny: Chriss cousin has a scheme to use Antarctic ice for a bottled water empire. A crew is assembled-including Chriss ex-wife and his lifelong Sancho Panza, Garth Frierson, an unemployed bus driver and devotee of a schlock painter modeled on Thomas Kinkaid-and soon Chris is hoping to resuscitate his professional and romantic life, and also find the island of Tsalal, the great undiscovered African Diasporan homeland... uncorrupted by whiteness. Though the love story is flat and some of the secondary characters are narrowly portrayed, the book is caustically hilarious as it offers a memorable take on Americas racial pathology and the whole ugly story of our world.



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