JAMES is an enthralling and ferociously funny novel that leaves an indelible mark, inspiring us to see Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in a wholly new and transformative light. Shortlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize for his novel The Trees, Professor Percival Everett is one of the most decorated writers of our lifetime.
The Mississippi River, 1861. When the enslaved Jim overhears that he is about to be sold to a new owner in New Orleans and separated from his wife and daughter forever, he decides to hide on nearby Jackson’s Island until he can formulate a plan. Meanwhile, Huck Finn has faked his own death to escape his violent father who recently returned to town.
Thus begins a dangerous and transcendent journey by raft along the Mississippi River, toward the elusive promise of free states and beyond. As James and Huck begin to navigate the treacherous waters, each bend in the river holds the promise of both salvation and demise.
With rumours of a brewing war, James must face the burden he carries: the family he is desperate to protect and the constant lie he must live. And together, the unlikely pair must face the most dangerous odyssey of them all . . .
From the shadows of Huck Finn’s mischievous spirit, Jim emerges to reclaim his voice, defying the conventions that have consigned him to the margins.