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It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »

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Wench

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Wench Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An ambitious and startling debut novel that follows the lives of four women at a resort popular among slaveholders who bring their enslaved mistresses

wench \'wench\ n. from Middle English "wenchel," 1 a: a girl, maid, young woman; a female child.

Tawawa House in many respects is like any other American resort before the Civil War. Situated in Ohio, this idyllic retreat is particularly nice in the summer when the Southern humidity is too much to bear. The main building, with its luxurious finishes, is loftier than the white cottages that flank it, but then again, the smaller structures are better positioned to catch any breeze that may come off the pond. And they provide more privacy, which best suits the needs of the Southern white men who vacation there every summer with their black, enslaved mistresses. It's their open secret.

Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet are regulars at Tawawa House. They have become friends over the years as they reunite and share developments in their own lives and on their respective plantations. They don't bother too much with questions of freedom, though the resort is situated in free territory-but when truth-telling Mawu comes to the resort and starts talking of running away, things change.

To run is to leave behind everything these women value most-friends and families still down South-and for some it also means escaping from the emotional and psychological bonds that bind them to their masters. When a fire on the resort sets off a string of tragedies, the women of Tawawa House soon learn that triumph and dehumanization are inseparable and that love exists even in the most inhuman, brutal of circumstances-all while they are bearing witness to the end of an era.

An engaging, page-turning, and wholly original novel, Wench explores, with an unflinching eye, the moral complexities of slavery.

Synopsis:

Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez is startling and original fiction that raises provocative questions of power and freedom, love and dependence. An enchanting and unforgettable novel based on little-known fact, Wench combines the narrative allure of Cane River by Lalita Tademy and the moral complexities of Edward P. Joness The Known World as it tells the story of four black enslaved women in the years preceding the Civil War. A stunning debut novel, Wench marks author Perkins-Valdez—previously a finalist for the 2009 Robert Olen Butler Short Fiction Prize—as a writer destined for greatness.

About the Author

Dolen Perkins-Valdez's fiction and essays have appeared in The Kenyon Review, African American Review, North Carolina Literary Review, and the Richard Wright Newsletter. Born and raised in Memphis, a graduate of Harvard, and a former University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow, Perkins-Valdez teaches creative writing at the University of Puget Sound. She splits her time between Washington, D.C. and Seattle, Washington. This is her first novel.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061706547
Author:
Perkins Valdez, Dole
Publisher:
Amistad Press
Author:
Valdez, Dolen Perkins
Author:
Perkins-Valdez, Dolen
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fugitive slaves
Subject:
Ohio History 1787-1865.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20100131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.01 in 16 oz

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » African American » Historical

Wench Used Hardcover
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Product details 304 pages Amistad Press - English 9780061706547 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez is startling and original fiction that raises provocative questions of power and freedom, love and dependence. An enchanting and unforgettable novel based on little-known fact, Wench combines the narrative allure of Cane River by Lalita Tademy and the moral complexities of Edward P. Joness The Known World as it tells the story of four black enslaved women in the years preceding the Civil War. A stunning debut novel, Wench marks author Perkins-Valdez—previously a finalist for the 2009 Robert Olen Butler Short Fiction Prize—as a writer destined for greatness.

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