Johnny One-Eye is bringing about the rediscovery of one of the most singular and remarkable [careers] in American literature (Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World). In this picaresque tour de force that reanimates Revolutionary Manhattan through the story of double agent John Stocking, the bastard son of a whorehouse madam and possibly George Washington, Jerome Charyn has given us one of the most memorable historical vels in years. As Johnny seeks to unlock the mystery of his birth and grapples with his allegiances, he falls in love with Clara, a gorgeous, green-eyed octoroon, the most coveted harlot of Gertrude's house. The wild parade of characters he encounters includes Benedict Arld, the Howe brothers, Sir Billy and Black Dick, and a manipulative Alexander Hamilton. Not since John Barth's The Sotweed Factor and Gore Vidal's Burr has a vel so dramatically re-created America's historical beginnings. Reading group guide included.
Jerome Charyn's stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Paris Review, American Scholar, Epoch, Narrative, Ellery Queen, and other magazines. His most recent novel is I Am Abraham. He lived for many years in Paris and currently resides in Manhattan.