3.68 (13,893 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez is startling and original fiction that raises provocative questions of power and freedom, love and dependence. An enchanting and unforgettable novel based on little-known fact, Wench combines the narrative allure of Cane River by Lalita Tademy and the moral complexities of Edward P. Jones's The Known World as it tells the story of four black enslaved women in the years preceding the Civil War. A stunning debut novel, Wench marks author Perkins-Valdez--previously a finalist for the 2009 Robert Olen Butler Short Fiction Prize--as a writer destined for greatness.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 290 pages
  • 134.62 x 195.58 x 30.48mm | 249.47g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Frontispiece; Illustrations, black and white
  • 0061706566
  • 9780061706561
  • 289,437

Review quote

-A shattering story told with dignity, compassion, and some wicked humor. A brave, honest, beautifully written book that will shock and move readers to much new awareness.---Sigrid Nunez, author of The Last of Her Kind and A Feather on the Breath of God
show more

Back cover copy

wench \'wench\ n. from Middle English "wenchel,"1 a: a girl, maid, young woman; a female child.

Situated in Ohio, a free territory before the Civil War, Tawawa House isan idyllic retreat for Southern white men who vacation there every summerwith their enslaved black mistresses. It's their open secret. Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet are regulars at the resort, building strong friendships over theyears. But when Mawu, as fearless as she is assured, comes along and starts talkingof running away, things change. To run is to leave everything behind, and forsome it also means escaping from the emotional and psychological bonds thatbind them to their masters. When a fire on the resort sets off a string of tragedies, the women of Tawawa House soon learn that triumph and dehumanization areinseparable and that love exists even in the most inhuman, brutal of circumstances--all while they bear witness to the end of an era.

An engaging, page-turning, and wholly original novel, Wench explores, withan unflinching eye, the moral complexities of slavery.
show more

Rating details

13,893 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 18% (2,558)
4 42% (5,793)
3 31% (4,328)
2 7% (1,015)
1 1% (199)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X