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One of Time Magazine’s "21 Female Authors You Should Be Reading"
Named a Best Book of 2013 by the Wall Street Journal
A New York Times Editors’ Choice
An O Magazine Top Ten Pick

In early 1800s Tennessee, two men find themselves locked in an intimate power struggle. Richardson, a troubled Revolutionary War veteran, has spent his life fighting not only for his country but also for wealth and status. When the pressures of westward expansion and debt threaten to destroy everything he’s built, he sets Washington, a young man he owns, to work as his breeding sire. Wash, the first member of his family to be born into slavery, struggles to hold onto his only solace: the spirituality inherited from his shamanic mother. As he navigates the treacherous currents of his position, despair and disease lead him to a potent healer named Pallas. Their tender love unfolds against this turbulent backdrop while she inspires him to forge a new understanding of his heritage and his place in it. Once Richardson and Wash find themselves at a crossroads, all three lives are pushed to the brink.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 26, 2012 – In this deeply researched, deeply felt debut novel, documentarian Wrinkle (broken/ground) aims a sure pen at a crucial moment following America’s War of Independence when the founding fathers yearned to free the country from the tyranny of slavery. At the center of this story stands Revolutionary War veteran Gen. James Richardson and his slave, Wash. Like Faulkner’s Thomas Sutpen of Mississippi, Richardson had depended on slaves to “carve out of nothing” a plantation on the Tennessee frontier. Though Richardson had wanted to leave slavery behind, he’s driven by greed and still involved with it, he says, “because I can’t stay out of it.” Imagining that the waves of settlers heading further west will need even more slaves, Richardson studs out Wash to neighboring plantations and fills the region with his visage—not the “R” branded to his cheek by his keepers, but Wash’s “dark eyes that let you fall right inside,” his “thick brows... like wings” and what the midwife who becomes Wash’s lover, Pallas, upon later meeting some of Wash’s biological children, calls, “hat dead on, straight ahead way he had.” Worried that another slave, jealous over whom Wash has been forced upon, might come at Pallas for revenge, Wash says he feels “nailed down in a way I want to pull up from. But it’d take too much skin so I don’t.” Undulating between a lyrical third-person narration and the meditative first-person accounts of Wash, Pallas, and a slowly cracking Richardson, the novel well evokes the tragedy not only of the lovers’ untenable positions, but also that of their master and his fragile country.

Customer Reviews


This is a beautiful, literary presentation of a misunderstood time in American history. The author does an outstanding job, allowing the reader to actually experience, both visually and emotionally, the internal conflicts of slavery, and the culture of the South.


The book cuts off at goes straight to acknowledgements right at part 7. Anybody ever hear of proof reading?

Where are the other 10 reviews?

Someone pay attention here.

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  • $15.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Feb 05, 2013
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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