The New York Times bestselling author of the Easy Rawlins novels delivers “a taut, riveting, and artfully edgy saga” of one man’s self-transformation (Kirkus).
At twelve years old, Cornelius Jones, the son of an Italian-American woman and a black man from Mississippi, secretly takes over his father’s job at a silent film theater in New York’s East Village—until the innocent scheme goes tragically wrong. Years later, his dying father imparts this piece of wisdom to Cornelius: The person who controls the narrative of history controls their own fate.
After his father dies and his mother disappears, Cornelius sets about reinventing himself—becoming Professor John Woman, a man who will spread his father’s teachings through the classrooms of an unorthodox southwestern university and beyond. But there are other individuals who are attempting to influence the narrative of John Woman, and who might know something about the facts of his hidden past.
Engaging with some of the most provocative ideas of recent intellectual history, John Woman is a compulsively readable, deliciously unexpected novel about the way we tell stories, and whether the stories we tell have the power to change the world