Thursday, July 28, 2011
Fran Ross 1935-1985.
Boston : Northeastern University Press, 2000.
xxviii, 212 p. ; 21 cm.
Mishpocheh -- The cube and the pip -- Helenic letters -- Pets, playmates, pedagogues -- Tokens deposited -- Ta-ta troezen -- Periphetes -- Sinis -- Phaea -- Sciron -- Cercyon -- Procrustes, Cephissus, Apollo delphinius -- Medea, Aegeus -- Minos, Pasiphae, Ariadne-- Pandion -- A key for speed readers, nonclassicists, etc.
Born to a Jewish father and black mother who divorce before she is two, Oreo grows up in Philadelphia with her maternal grandparents while her mother tours with a theatrical troupe. Soon after puberty, Oreo heads for New York with a pack on her back to search for her father; but in the big city she discovers that there are dozens of Sam Schwartzes in the phone book, and Oreo's mission turns into a wickedly humorous picaresque quest. The ambitious and playful narrative challenges accepted notions of race, ethnicity, culture, and even the novelistic form itself.