Song of the Shank

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Product Details

Price
$18.00
Publisher
Graywolf Press
Publish Date
Pages
570
Dimensions
6.02 X 9.08 X 1.22 inches | 0.02 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781555976804

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About the Author

Jeffery Renard Allen is the author of the novel Rails Under My Back, the story collection Holding Pattern, and two collections of poetry. Raised in Chicago and now living in New York, he teaches at Queens College and in the writing program at the New School.

Reviews

Praise for "Rails Under My Back"

A "New York Times" Notable Book

"Powerful stuff." --"Esquire

""[Allen's] language . . . demonstrates extraordinary poise . . . Besides Joyce and Faulkner, other 20th-century novelists whose work Allen's calls to mind are Dos Passos, Ellison and Henry Roth--an indication of the remarkable literary company in which this novel may be seen to move." --"The New York Times Book Review

""Big, ambitious, picaresque, and beautiful." --"San Francisco Chronicle

""A novel of immense power." --"Elle"

Praise for "Song of the Shank: "

"Talent and brilliance are not enough. Writing a novel like this is the equivalent of building a three story building. Single handedly. Jeffery Renard Allen scores highly with this novel about the Michael Jackson of the nineteenth century, the savant, Blind Tom." --Ishmael Reed

"Jeffery Renard Allen works language to make himself smarter, readers smarter, the language smarter."--John Edgar Wideman

Praise for "Rails Under My Back: "

A "New York Times" Notable Book

"Powerful stuff." --"Esquire

""[Allen's] language . . . demonstrates extraordinary poise . . . Besides Joyce and Faulkner, other 20th-century novelists whose work Allen's calls to mind are Dos Passos, Ellison and Henry Roth--an indication of the remarkable literary company in which this novel may be seen to move." --"The New York Times Book Review

""Big, ambitious, picaresque, and beautiful." --"San Francisco Chronicle

""A novel of immense power." --"Elle"

Praise for "Song of the Shank: "

"Both the conception and the underlying history behind this story will leave readers with a profound understanding of the inhumanity of slavery and 19th century racial attitudes. . . . [An] admirable book that invites an important excavation of the past." --"Publishers Weekly"

"Talent and brilliance are not enough. Writing a novel like this is the equivalent of building a three story building. Single handedly. Jeffery Renard Allen scores highly with this novel about the Michael Jackson of the nineteenth century, the savant, Blind Tom." --Ishmael Reed

"Jeffery Renard Allen works language to make himself smarter, readers smarter, the language smarter."--John Edgar Wideman

Praise for "Rails Under My Back: "

A "New York Times" Notable Book

"Powerful stuff." --"Esquire

""[Allen's] language . . . demonstrates extraordinary poise . . . Besides Joyce and Faulkner, other 20th-century novelists whose work Allen's calls to mind are Dos Passos, Ellison and Henry Roth--an indication of the remarkable literary company in which this novel may be seen to move." --"The New York Times Book Review

""Big, ambitious, picaresque, and beautiful." --"San Francisco Chronicle

""A novel of immense power." --"Elle"

Praise for "Song of the Shank"

"[A] masterly new novel. . . . It sagely explores themes of religion, class, art and genius, and introduces elements of magic realism . . . resulting in the kind of imaginative work only a prodigiously gifted risk-taker could produce." --"The New York Times Book Review" (front cover)

"Allen's elaborate novel unfurls like a tapestry, its minutely detailed tableaux illustrating the vast, unhealed bruise of American racism." --"The Boston Globe"

"Powerfully evokes the life of the 19th-century slave and enigmatic musical savant, Blind Tom." --"Vanity Fair"

"Epic and brilliant. . . . [Allen's] unhurried and unconventional novel is a celebration of an utterly unique American artist." --"The Los Angeles Times"

"Inventive, earthy, lyrical, demanding, rewarding. . . . There are echoes . . . in this potential Great American Novel of past masters Faulkner, Hemingway, Ellison, Melville, John Edgar Wideman, Ishmael Reed."" --San Francisco Chronicle"

"Beautiful. . . . [Allen's] style is at once dense and spare--his prose poetic and heavily evocative." --"Chicago Tribune"

"An eerie fever dream of a historical novel. . . . [Allen] carries the resources of the poet and the psychic in his trick bag." --"Bookforum"

"[An] explosive vanguard novel . . . a chilling orphic drama full of polyrhythmic shakers and shells. . . . A landmark of modern African-American literature. . . . Reading through this sagacious volume is like stumbling on a crooked monument covered in celestial carvings, something that aims for the stars and ends up reconfiguring constellations." --"The Atlanta Journal-Constitution"

"If there's any justice, Allen's visionary work, as startlingly inventive as one of his subject's performances, should propel him to the front rank of American novelists." --"Kirkus Reviews," starred review

"[A] delightful literary gem." --"Essence"

"[A] sprawling, Faulknerian work of fiction." --"The Kansas City Star"

"In the extraordinarily talented hands of Allen, Tom is a mysterious and compelling figure. . . . [A] tour de force. . . . A brilliant book, with echoes of Ralph Ellison and William Faulkner." --"Booklist," starred review

"[A] masterly new novel. . . . It sagely explores themes of religion, class, art and genius, and introduces elements of magic realism . . . resulting in the kind of imaginative work only a prodigiously gifted risk-taker could produce." --"The New York Times Book Review" (front cover)

"Allen's elaborate novel unfurls like a tapestry, its minutely detailed tableaux illustrating the vast, unhealed bruise of American racism." --"The Boston Globe"

"Powerfully evokes the life of the 19th-century slave and enigmatic musical savant, Blind Tom." --"Vanity Fair"

"Epic and brilliant. . . . [Allen's] unhurried and unconventional novel is a celebration of an utterly unique American artist." --"The Los Angeles Times"

"Inventive, earthy, lyrical, demanding, rewarding. . . . There are echoes . . . in this potential Great American Novel of past masters Faulkner, Hemingway, Ellison, Melville, John Edgar Wideman, Ishmael Reed."" --San Francisco Chronicle"

"Beautiful. . . . [Allen's] style is at once dense and spare--his prose poetic and heavily evocative." --"Chicago Tribune"

"An eerie fever dream of a historical novel. . . . [Allen] carries the resources of the poet and the psychic in his trick bag." --"Bookforum"

"[An] explosive vanguard novel . . . a chilling orphic drama full of polyrhythmic shakers and shells. . . . A landmark of modern African-American literature. . . . Reading through this sagacious volume is like stumbling on a crooked monument covered in celestial carvings, something that aims for the stars and ends up reconfiguring constellations." --"The Atlanta Journal-Constitution"

"If there's any justice, Allen's visionary work, as startlingly inventive as one of his subject's performances, should propel him to the front rank of American novelists." --"Kirkus Reviews," starred review

"[A] delightful literary gem." --"Essence"

"[A] sprawling, Faulknerian work of fiction." --"The Kansas City Star"

"In the extraordinarily talented hands of Allen, Tom is a mysterious and compelling figure. . . . [A] tour de force. . . . A brilliant book, with echoes of Ralph Ellison and William Faulkner." --"Booklist," starred review

[A] masterly new novel. . . . It sagely explores themes of religion, class, art and genius, and introduces elements of magic realism . . . resulting in the kind of imaginative work only a prodigiously gifted risk-taker could produce. "The New York Times Book Review (front cover)"

Allen's elaborate novel unfurls like a tapestry, its minutely detailed tableaux illustrating the vast, unhealed bruise of American racism. "The Boston Globe"

Powerfully evokes the life of the 19th-century slave and enigmatic musical savant, Blind Tom. "Vanity Fair"

Epic and brilliant. . . . [Allen's] unhurried and unconventional novel is a celebration of an utterly unique American artist. "The Los Angeles Times"

Inventive, earthy, lyrical, demanding, rewarding. . . . There are echoes . . . in this potential Great American Novel of past masters Faulkner, Hemingway, Ellison, Melville, John Edgar Wideman, Ishmael Reed. "San Francisco Chronicle"

Beautiful. . . . [Allen's] style is at once dense and spare--his prose poetic and heavily evocative. "Chicago Tribune"

An eerie fever dream of a historical novel. . . . [Allen] carries the resources of the poet and the psychic in his trick bag. "Bookforum"

[An] explosive vanguard novel . . . a chilling orphic drama full of polyrhythmic shakers and shells. . . . A landmark of modern African-American literature. . . . Reading through this sagacious volume is like stumbling on a crooked monument covered in celestial carvings, something that aims for the stars and ends up reconfiguring constellations. "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution"

If there's any justice, Allen's visionary work, as startlingly inventive as one of his subject's performances, should propel him to the front rank of American novelists. "Kirkus Reviews, starred review"

[A] delightful literary gem. "Essence"

[A] sprawling, Faulknerian work of fiction. "The Kansas City Star"

In the extraordinarily talented hands of Allen, Tom is a mysterious and compelling figure. . . . [A] tour de force. . . . A brilliant book, with echoes of Ralph Ellison and William Faulkner. "Booklist, starred review""

"[A] masterly new novel. . . . It sagely explores themes of religion, class, art and genius, and introduces elements of magic realism . . . resulting in the kind of imaginative work only a prodigiously gifted risk-taker could produce." --The New York Times Book Review (front cover)

"Allen's elaborate novel unfurls like a tapestry, its minutely detailed tableaux illustrating the vast, unhealed bruise of American racism." --The Boston Globe

"Powerfully evokes the life of the 19th-century slave and enigmatic musical savant, Blind Tom." --Vanity Fair

"Epic and brilliant. . . . [Allen's] unhurried and unconventional novel is a celebration of an utterly unique American artist." --The Los Angeles Times

"Inventive, earthy, lyrical, demanding, rewarding. . . . There are echoes . . . in this potential Great American Novel of past masters Faulkner, Hemingway, Ellison, Melville, John Edgar Wideman, Ishmael Reed." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Beautiful. . . . [Allen's] style is at once dense and spare--his prose poetic and heavily evocative." --Chicago Tribune

"An eerie fever dream of a historical novel. . . . [Allen] carries the resources of the poet and the psychic in his trick bag." --Bookforum

"[An] explosive vanguard novel . . . a chilling orphic drama full of polyrhythmic shakers and shells. . . . A landmark of modern African-American literature. . . . Reading through this sagacious volume is like stumbling on a crooked monument covered in celestial carvings, something that aims for the stars and ends up reconfiguring constellations." --The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"If there's any justice, Allen's visionary work, as startlingly inventive as one of his subject's performances, should propel him to the front rank of American novelists." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"[A] delightful literary gem." --Essence

"[A] sprawling, Faulknerian work of fiction." --The Kansas City Star

"In the extraordinarily talented hands of Allen, Tom is a mysterious and compelling figure. . . . [A] tour de force. . . . A brilliant book, with echoes of Ralph Ellison and William Faulkner." --Booklist, starred review

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