With a truthfulness even beyond Faulkner, Wrinkle makes her novelistic debut in a monumental work of unflinching imagination.” -Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife
Margaret Wrinkle reads and signs her novel
Wednesday May 7 at 7pm
In this luminous and spirited debut, Margaret Wrinkle takes us on an unforgettable journey across continents and through time, from the burgeoning American South to West Africa and deep into the ancestral stories that reside in the soul. Wash introduces a remarkable new voice in American literature.
Along the Tennessee frontier in the early 1800s, two men find themselves locked in an intimate power struggle. Richardson, a troubled Revolutionary War veteran, has spent his life fighting not only for his country but also for wealth and status. But when the pressures of westward expansion and debt threaten to destroy everything he’s built, he embarks on an audacious plan. He sets Washington, a young man he owns, to work as his breeding sire. Wash, the first member of his family to be born into slavery, struggles to hold onto his only solace: the spirituality and faith inherited from his shamanic mother. As he navigates the treacherous currents of his position, despair and disease lead him to a potent healer named Pallas. Their tender love unfolds against this turbulent backdrop while she inspires him to forge a new understanding of his heritage and his place in it. Once Richardson and Wash find themselves at a crossroads, all three lives are pushed to the brink.
Winner of the 2013 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, awarded by New York City’s Center for Fiction
Longlisted for the Crook’s Corner Book Prize for Exceptional Debut Southern Novel, awarded by the Crook’s Corner Book Prize Foundation, in Chapel Hill, N.C.
New York Times Paperback Row
The WSJ Best Fiction of 2013 List
The New York Times Book Review
“The voices of the past cannot speak for themselves and must rely on the artists of the future to honor them. It’s a profound responsibility and one that Margaret Wrinkle meets in her brilliant novel, Wash.”