The Prophets

The Prophets Robert Jones Jr.

A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence.


Isaiah was Samuel's and Samuel was Isaiah's. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man—a fellow slave—seeks to gain favor by preaching the master's gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel's love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation's harmony.

With a lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison, Robert Jones, Jr., fiercely summons the voices of slaver and enslaved alike, from Isaiah and Samuel to the calculating slave master to the long line of women that surround them, women who have carried the soul of the plantation on their shoulders. As tensions build and the weight of centuries—of ancestors and future generations to come—culminates in a climactic reckoning, The Prophets masterfully reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love.

  • “An extraordinary, vivid novel written with heart and imagination….The Prophets really dazzles.” – NPR, Weekend Edition
  • "The greatest gift of this novel is its efforts to render emotional interiority to enslaved people who are too often depicted either as vessels for sadistic violence or as noble, superhuman warriors for liberation….Jones’s debut novel is an important contribution to American letters, Black queer studies and the present moment’s profound reckoning with the legacy of America’s racialized violence." – The Washington Post
  • “In his powerful debut novel, The Prophets, Robert Jones, Jr. depicts in exquisite, often excruciating detail the social ruination that slavery brought to the antebellum South…Jones takes a discursive approach, lacing his main story with chapters inspired by the Bible (mainly the Old Testament) or fueled by incantatory tales from pre-colonial Africa….Allow them to cast their spell. Together they bring historical sweep, magic and leavening flights of lyricism to the blood, sweat and tears of an earthbound world….Labeling The Prophets a ‘gay slave story’ fails to fully describe its ambition and imaginative richness. Jones’ astounding achievement is to open a world where love somehow dares to speak its name alongside our greatest national shame.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Specificaties

ISBN
9780593329023
Uitgever
Penguin US
Datum
05-01-2021
Taal
Engels
Bladzijden
400 pp.
Bindwijze
Paperback Paperback C
Genre
Engelstalige literatuur

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