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The Prophets

The Prophets

A Novel

Book - 2021
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"A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence"--
Publisher: New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons, [2021]
ISBN: 9780593085684
Branch Call Number: FIC JONES 2021
Characteristics: 388 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

Two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation find refuge in each other while transforming a quiet shed into a haven for their fellow slaves, before an enslaved preacher declares their bond sinful.

This historical debut centers on the love between two men, both slaves in the Deep South.

From the critics

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May 28, 2021

Two stars for its heart, but otherwise I have little good to say. It was too: too messy; too overwritten; too trying-to-be-Toni-Morrison; too long; too pretentiously arty; too confusing; too much tell, not show; too many endless jump cuts to yet another POV; too much incoherent rambling. Sorely disappointed.

May 14, 2021

“The Prophets” by Robert Jones, Jr. tells the stories of the slaves and their master on a Mississippi plantation, the conflict of beliefs, how men of both races use women, and of the love between slaves Isaiah and Samuel. I don’t understand the title. Nor do I get the somewhat omnipotent others who are voiced throughout the novel. All-in-all I found it to be an interesting story. Note: it contains the violence and language of the period.

LPL_MaryW Feb 20, 2021

This unforgettable book is sure to be a mainstay in African American literature for a long time to come. With chapters that reflect the books of the Bible, and characters that reflect the characters therein, The Prophets is a liberating epic sprinkled with interruptions by a Greek chorus of African ancestral women and flashbacks to the ancestors' demise. This is no Twelve Years a Slave—The Prophets contains many moments of exquisite joy, albeit brief ones. Its story centers not on a man but on two teenage boys joined in the most pure love you can imagine. Their love outshines everything else, and they are protected—ultimately—by their ancestors, and by the mystical women who raised them. Please, read this book.

Jan 26, 2021

Bound by law, bound by love, and bound by their chains, two black male slaves, Samuel and Isaiah love and endure in Robert Jones, Jr's first novel. The pain and sorrow and joy overwhelmed me at times. Absolutely unforgettable.

Jan 20, 2021

NYTimes BR Front P.

Jan 05, 2021

This was a profound book to read. It is more of a character study than a plot driven novel. Jones’ debut book touched my soul. His focus on what slavery was like was difficult to read at times. He focuses on the abuse, yet there is a softer tone as well. He has created a Black story along with the story of two gay teenage slaves, who bring each other joy. Their love impacts the others around them. I have read several advance reviews calling Jones’ writing reminiscent of Toni Morrison. I agree.


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