The Good Lord Bird

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The Good Lord Bird is right. The New York Times Book Review jacket blurb called it a brilliant romp of a novel, and I can’t think of a better way to describe last year’s National Book Award winner for fiction. From the plains of Kansas to the back room of a whore house to Mr. Frederick Douglass’s fancy parlor, it is a romp through history, all with an eye on the legend of Harpers Ferry, with Old John Brown at the center, full forward march. But despite Brown’s outsize personality, his gun slinging and his prayers, it’s the voice of Henry/ietta Shackleford, Brown’s Little Onion, that steals this show.

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