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Oreo
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Oreo (Paperback)

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£9.99
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Synopsis

With an introduction by the Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James



`A rollicking little masterpiece . . . one of the most delightful, hilarious, intelligent novels I've stumbled across in recent years' Paul Auster



Oreo has been raised by her maternal grandparents in Philadelphia. Her black mother tours with a theatrical troupe, and her Jewish deadbeat dad disappeared when she was an infant, leaving behind a mysterious note. Oreo's quest is to find her father, and discover the secret of her birth.



What ensues in Fran Ross's opus is a playful, modernized parody of the classical odyssey of Theseus with a feminist twist, immersed in seventies pop culture, and mixing standard English, black vernacular, and Yiddish with wisecracking aplomb.



Oreo, our young hero, navigates the labyrinth of sound studios and brothels and subway tunnels in Manhattan, seeking to claim her birthright while unwittingly experiencing and triggering a mythic journey of self-discovery like no other.

Fran Ross was born in 1935 and grew up in Philadelphia. She graduated from high school when she was fifteen years old and went onto study Communications, Journalism, and Theatre at Temple University. She moved to New York in 1960, where she worked as a proofreader and journalist. Oreo was originally published in 1974 during the height of the Black Power Movement. She then moved to Los Angeles to write comedy for Richard Pryor. She died in 1985 in New York.

More books by Fran Ross

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Staff Choice

The heroine of Fran Ross' only novel is surely a literary icon-in-waiting. Oreo is a foul-mouthed, thirteen year old martial arts expert who scours the underbelly of 1970s New York in an attempt to find her father and reconcile her Jewish and African-American heritage. Ross (who went on to write for Richard Pryor) builds her narrative from bastardised Greek myth, Yiddish humour and righteous Blaxploitation iconography. I don't think I have ever laughed at a novel so much.

Chris, Westfield, Stratford City

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 04/07/2018

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