You Must Read OREO (and PYM)

Mat Johnson, whose novel Pym is called a “blisteringly funny satire of contemporary American racial attitudes” by Laura Miller in Salon, recommends another “hilarious, uproarious, insane” novel about race on the regular NPR segment, “You Must Read This.” The book, Oreo, by Fran Ross, was overlooked in its time says Johnson…

There are books, great books, that appear at a time when no one is ready to read them. Oreo arrived in 1974, during the height of the Black Power movement with its focus on an African-based identity and black male power. A novel about a biracial woman’s search for her Jewish identity, complete with Yiddish word jokes and a structure based around Greek mythology, was about as far away from what was expected of a black writer as possible.

As a result of his passionate recommendation, the book rose to #31 on Amazon’s sales ranking. Libraries we checked do not own it.

Johnson’s own book, which earns great praise from Michael Dirda in the Washington Post today (a “wonderful, black-humored novel – part social satire, part meditation on race in America, part metafiction and, just as important, a rollicking fantasy adventure.”) is at #770 on Amazon.

Pym: A Novel
Mat Johnson
Retail Price: $24.00
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau – (2011-03-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0812981588 / 9780812981582

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