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09 October 2008


Wounded by Percival Everett is a look at prejudice in the United States.

John Hunt lives on a horse ranch in Wyoming. When he first bought his ranch, a black cowboy was a curiosity. Now most locals know him as a great horse trainer.

When a young gay man is killed outside of town, one of John's ranch hand is arrested for the murder. John never much liked the hired man but does not see him as a killer.

When the son of John's best friend from college comes to town with his boyfriend to march in a rally about the killing, tensions are high. When other hate crimes start to occur, the sheriff does little to help.

Soon the black cowboy, the Native Americans who live on a reservation at the edge of town, and David, the gay friend who is staying with John, are tied together more than ever.

Everett's look at intolerance in the face of race and sexuality takes a meandering, western novel approach to an important discussion in today's world. Balanced with ranch life, including an escape-artist mule and a three-legged coyote, this is story of life is an accurate and insightful look at the people who make up the United States.

One sentence description: The unhurried life of a black rancher in Wyoming is the setting for this riveting look at the pervasiveness of prejudice in America when local skinheads murder a gay college student.

Everett, Percival. (2005). Wounded. Saint Paul, MN: Graywolf Press.

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