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.