Picador Classic

There is no weather per se in this book. Passing reference is made to weather in a few instances. Assume whatever season you like throughout. Summer makes the most sense in a book of this length. That way, pages do not have to be used up describing people taking off and putting on overcoats. Born to a Jewish father and black mother, Oreo is brought up in Philadelphia by her grandparents while her mother tours with a dance troupe. Her father hasn’t been seen since she was a baby, so when Oreo turns fourteen, she sets out for New York in search of him. All she has as her guide is the mysterious note he left for her, but in the big city, there are dozens of Sam Schwartzes, and as our young heroine navigates a labyrinth of subway tunnels and brothels, she realizes this journey will be one of self-discovery above all else. Loosely based on the myth of Theseus, Oreo is a wickedly funny novel of race and identity. First published in 1974, it is a work of post-modern brilliance: a feminist satire of extraordinary intelligence and whip-smart word-play, and a book decades ahead of its time. ‘Hilarious’ Paul Beatty