Prolific, bestselling novelist Walter Mosley has a new book out, and it's timely and evergreen — and a bit bizarre. "John Woman" is, essentially, about a boy who does something bad and reinvents himself as an adult. He changes his name and becomes a history professor, and starts teaching the concept of "deconstructionist history" — that is, the idea that history changes as the social context changes — with a whole lot of moxie.
Themes of gender and race and power and politics run throughout, as is Mosley's wont, but "John Woman" feels especially poignant at a time when the country is so divided on all of these fronts — and as those in our democracy are trying simultaneously preserve certain aspects of history while changing the course of the future.
Listen to Rebecca Carroll talk to Mosley on WNYC about his new book, below.
Rebecca Carroll is a cultural critic and Editor of Special Projects at WNYC, where she develops, produces and hosts a broad array of multi-platform content, including podcasts, live events and on-air broadcasts. Rebecca is also a critic at large for the Los Angeles Times, and a regular columnist at Shondaland in addition to Gothamist. She is the author of several interview-based books about race and blackness in America, including the award-winning Sugar in the Raw, and her personal essays, cultural commentary and opinion pieces have been published widely.