Cion

A Novel

Zakes Mda

Picador

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A Picador Paperback Original
 
The hero of Zakes Mda's beloved Ways of Dying, Toloki, sets down with a family in Middle America and uncovers the story of the runaway slaves who were their ancestors.
 
Toloki, the professional mourner, has come to live in America. Lured to Athens, Ohio, by an academic at the local university, Toloki makes friends with an angry young man he meets at a Halloween parade and soon falls in love with the young man's sister. Toloki endears himself to a local quilting group and his quilting provides a portal to the past, a story of two escaped slaves seeking freedom in Ohio.
 
Making their way north from Virginia with nothing but their mother's quilts for a map, the boys hope to find a promised land where blacks can live as free men. Their story alternates with Toloki's, as the two narratives cast a new light on America in the twenty-first century and on an undiscovered legacy of the Underground Railroad.

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One

Of Saints and Pagans

The sciolist has delusions of Godness. At his whim I find myself walking among colorful creatures that are hiding in stolen identities. I am wandering on Court Street in Athens, Ohio, trying to find my way among the milling crowds.

Every year at this time, I am told, the natives go wild and invoke their pagan gods who descend upon the earth in the guise of these Court Street creatures. Some take possession of the bodies and souls of decent men and women and turn them into raving lunatics who run up and down the street breathing fire.

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Reviews

Praise for Cion

Praise for Ways of Dying:
 
"A marvelous picaresque."--The New York Times Book Review
 
"Darkly comic and sadly poignant, Mda possesses the lyricism of a storyteller."--San Diego Union-Tribune

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About the Author

Zakes Mda

Zakes Mda is a professor of creative writing at Ohio University. He lives in Athens, Ohio.

Zakes Mda

Sal Idriss
Zakes Mda

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Available Formats and Book Details

Cion
A Novel
Zakes Mda

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
August 2007
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312427061
ISBN10: 0312427069
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 320 pages
$14.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Picador
August 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429933643
ISBN10: 142993364X
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 320 pages
$9.99
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Picador

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