Harper Academic

The Rib King

A Novel

by Ladee Hubbard

On Sale: 01/19/2021

Price: $27.99

The Rib King

Enlarge Book Cover

The Rib King

A Novel

by Ladee Hubbard

On Sale: 01/19/2021

Format:

Price: $27.99

About the Book

“Ultimately the reason to read The Rib King is not its timeliness or its insight into politics or Black culture, but because it accomplishes what the best fiction sets out to do: It drops you into a world you could not otherwise visit and makes you care deeply about what happens there.”--BookPage (starred review)

The acclaimed author of The Talented Ribkins deconstructs painful African American stereotypes and offers a fresh and searing critique on race, class, privilege, ambition, exploitation, and the seeds of rage in America in this intricately woven and masterfully executed historical novel, set in early the twentieth century that centers around the black servants of a down-on-its heels upper-class white family.

For fifteen years August Sitwell has worked for the Barclays, a well-to-do white family who plucked him from an orphan asylum and gave him a job. The groundskeeper is part of the household’s all-black staff, along with “Miss Mamie,” the talented cook, pretty new maid Jennie Williams, and three young kitchen apprentices—the latest orphan boys Mr. Barclay has taken in to "civilize" boys like August.

But the Barclays fortunes have fallen, and their money is almost gone. When a prospective business associate proposes selling Miss Mamie’s delicious rib sauce to local markets under the brand name “The Rib King”—using a caricature of a wildly grinning August on the label—Mr. Barclay, desperate for cash, agrees. Yet neither Miss Mamie nor August will see a dime. Humiliated, August grows increasingly distraught, his anger building to a rage that explodes in shocking tragedy. 

Elegantly written and exhaustively researched, The Rib King is an unsparing examination of America’s fascination with black iconography and exploitation that redefines African American stereotypes in literature. In this powerful, disturbing, and timely novel, Ladee Hubbard reveals who people actually are, and most importantly, who and what they are not.

Critical Praise

“One will be impressed at all times with Hubbard’s control over her historical milieu as well as her complicated, intriguing characterizations. . . . An imaginative work craftily depicting the failure of imagination that is American racism.” - Kirkus Reviews

“Hubbard delivers a dazzling tour-de-force in this richly painted, perfectly timed meditation on privilege and fury.” - Booklist (starred review)

"Hubbard’s latest cements her status as an American original." - Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062979063
  • ISBN 10: 006297906X
  • Imprint: Amistad
  • On Sale: 01/19/2021
  • Trimsize: 6.000 in (w) x 9.000 in (h) x 1.210 in (d)
  • Pages: 384
  • List Price: $27.99
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / African American / General
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / African American / Historical