The Talented Tenth
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The Talented Tenth

3.25 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Winner of the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award At seventy-two, Johnny Ribkins shouldn't have such problems: He's got one week to come up with the money he stole from his mobster boss or it's curtains for Johnny. What may or may not be useful to Johnny as he flees is that he comes from an African-American family that has been gifted with rather super powers that are rather sad, but superpowers nonetheless. For example, Johnny's father could see colors no one else could see. His brother could scale perfectly flat walls. His cousin belches fire. And Johnny himself can make precise maps of any space you name, whether he's been there or not. In the old days, the Ribkins family tried to apply their gifts to the civil rights effort, calling themselves The Justice Committee. But when their, eh, superpowers proved insufficient, the group fell apart. Out of frustration Johnny and his brother used their talents to stage a series of burglaries, each more daring than the last. Fast forward a couple decades and Johnny's on a race against the clock to dig up loot he's stashed all over Florida. His brother is gone, but he has an unexpected sidekick: his brother's daughter, Eloise, who has a special superpower of her own. Inspired by W.E.B. DuBois's famous essay "The Talented Tenth" and fuelled by Ladee Hubbard's marvelously original imagination, The Talented Ribkins is a big-hearted debut novel about race, class, politics, and the unique gifts that, while they may cause some problems from time to time, bind a family together.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 135 x 210 x 19.05mm | 567g
  • Melville House Publishing
  • Brooklyn, United States
  • English
  • 1612196365
  • 9781612196367

About Ladee Hubbard

Laddee Hubbard is the winner of the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award and the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for the Short Story. She holds a BA from Princeton University, an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin, and a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Talented Ribkins is her first novel.show more

Review quote

"What a pleasure it was to take a road trip with The Talented Ribkins, a simultaneously gifted and flawed family, sharp-witted but prone to making utterly human errors. Ladee Hubbard has given us a fresh and original debut novel." --Jami Attenberg, author of All Grown Up "Ladee Hubbard's The Talented Ribkins is a first novel of extraordinary confidence and panache. Brisk, funny, tender, scathing, the book is a road story with teeth, a secret history of those black Americans whom W. E. B. Dubois called 'the talented tenth'--underground, in plain sight, sometimes both at the same time--superheroes of reality." --Zachary Lazar, author of Swayshow more

Rating details

4 ratings
3.25 out of 5 stars
5 25% (1)
4 0% (0)
3 50% (2)
2 25% (1)
1 0% (0)
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