Grateful American Book Prize

Patriotic Pick for October 2023

“Deacon King Kong: A Novel”
by James McBride

Deacon King Kong: A Novel by James McBride
Riverhead Books, 2020

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here is one such title, suggested by historian Jane F. Levey, past editor of Washington History: Magazine of the DC History Center:

Deacon King Kong: A Novel by James McBride. “This is a wondrous, hilarious adventure novel of urban life in 1960s New York City centered on an old, drunken, church-going neighborhood handyman who recently lost his wife,” says Levey. “The book unfolds with mystery, crime, and a deeply observed portrait of a public-housing project. It bounces from realism to magic and back again, reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez. And while it is often laugh-out-loud funny, it is also a deeply serious commentary on the state of African American, urban America today.”

Patriotic Pick is a monthly feature in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

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