Updated with a new foreword by the author in celebration of its fortieth anniversary, the classic PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novel about a man’s obsessive quest to uncover the circumstances of his father’s death and his town’s murky history.
“The Chaneysville Incident rivals Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon as the best novel about the black experience in America since Ellison's Invisible Man.”—Christian Science Monitor
Legend has it something happened in Chaneysville . . .
John Washington is coming home to Chaneysville. Old Jack Crawley, his father's closest friend and John’s guardian, is dying, and the young man will care for him in his final days.
For the brilliant and embittered Black historian, it is a return that will plunge him deep into the past, into the dark secrets of this town and the buried evil of his heritage. Investigating the death of his father, Moses, a moonshiner with a difficult past, John must come to terms with his family’s proud and tragic history and the terrible truth of this white rural town close to the Mason Dixon line— a waystation for slaves traveling along the Underground Railroad—that he once called home.
The Chaneysville Incident is the story of John's relationship with his family, his hometown, and the woman he loves—and the indelible bonds between past and present, oppression and bondage, history and myth, faith and guilt, love and acceptance.