3.62 (664 ratings by Goodreads)

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Meet the unforgettable Leifur Nils Kristjansson Saint Marie du Cotton (you can call him Lee). From his Icelandic father come his porcelain skin, flaxen hair, and azure eyes; from his mixed-race mother comes his black identity; from his Mambo grandmother comes his gift of hearing Les Voix - the spirits, living and dead. Lee begins life as a black boy born white-skinned in segregated Eureka, Mississippi, in 1950. Over the course of Lee's first twenty years, he will fall in love with the daughter of a local Klansman, get kicked senseless and left for dead on a freight train headed north, end up in St. Louis as a white man, and be drafted into the psychops corps in Nevada. There, a drunken accident will separate Lee from another part of his identity and change his fate yet again.Lee Cotton's voice - guileless, charming, equal parts Delta Blues and Motown - takes us on a hilarious, exhilarating freedom ride through America's preoccupation with identity politics. Lee travels widely in a variety of skin colors and genders, transforming others as he has transformed himself.This very American novel was written by a British citizen, though Lee Cotton wouldn't want us to hold that against him. Indeed, perhaps only an outside witness could so ingeniously create a character who experiences the tragic absurdities of our cultural exclusions while at the same time represents the better angels of our nature.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 314 pages
  • 152.4 x 233.7 x 30.5mm | 544.32g
  • United States
  • English
  • 0151011230
  • 9780151011230

Rating details

664 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 22% (148)
4 36% (242)
3 26% (175)
2 11% (72)
1 4% (27)
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