Counternarratives

by: John Keene

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Counternarratives by John Keene / ISBN 9780811225526 / 320-page paperback from New Directions

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Now in paperback, a bewitching collection of stories and novellas that are “suspenseful, thought-provoking, mystical, and haunting” (Publishers Weekly)

Ranging from the seventeenth century to the present, and crossing multiple continents, Counternarratives draws upon memoirs, newspaper accounts, detective stories, and interrogation transcripts to create new and strange perspectives on our past and present. “An Outtake” chronicles an escaped slave’s take on liberty and the American Revolution; “The Strange History of Our Lady of the Sorrows” presents a bizarre series of events that unfold in Haiti and a nineteenth-century Kentucky convent; “The Aeronauts” soars between bustling Philadelphia, still-rustic Washington, and the theater of the U. S. Civil War; “Rivers” portrays a free Jim meeting up decades later with his former raftmate Huckleberry Finn; and in “Acrobatique,” the subject of a famous Edgar Degas painting talks back.

"Counternarratives is an extraordinary work of literature. John Keene is a dense, intricate, and magnificent writer."― Christine Smallwood, Harper’s

John Keene is a former member of the Dark Room Writers Collective, a graduate fellow of Cave Canem, and the recipient of many awards and fellowships―including a MacArthur Genius Award, the Windham-Campbell Prize, and the Whiting Foundation Prize for fiction. Keene teaches at Rutgers.