Verso £8.99 (484pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Manituana, By Wu Ming
Friday 23 July 2010
First known as "Luther Blissett", Bologna's fiction-writing collective return with a stylish, atmospheric and provocative saga set in British America in the years prior to the white-settler uprising of 1776.
There's the rub: turning received ideas on their head, as ever, Wu Ming evoke the coming rebellion mostly through the eyes of the Mohawk nation loyal to George III, the "Great English Father".
At the core of a sweeping, narrative, bursting with colour and character, stands the real-life war chief, Joseph Brant, stalwart but doomed in his defence of a threatened culture and society.
Quite how the Italian mavericks (here beautifully translated by Shaun Whiteside) conjure fiction of this strength and nuance from a collective remains a puzzle. But long may their drums beat.
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