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The slave’s story: James, by Percival Everett, reviewed

A retelling of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the voice of Huck’s companion the runaway slave changes the nature of the pair’s relationship – not always for the better

27 April 2024

9:00 AM

27 April 2024

9:00 AM

James Percival Everett

Mantle, pp.320, 20

Rereading The Adventures of Huckle-berry Finn can be a saddening experience. It’s not just the oft-repeated n-word that jolts, then pains, then twinges; it’s the ‘no sah’, ‘I’s agwyne to’ locutions of Huck’s companion, the runaway slave Jim. In retelling the celebrated adventure story in Jim’s own voice, Percival Everett upends the convention.

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