Author(s): Fran Ross
Oreo is raised by her maternal grandparents in Philadelphia. Her black mother tours with a theatrical troupe, and her Jewish deadbeat dad disappeared when she was an infant, leaving behind a mysterious note that triggers her quest to find him. What ensues is a playful, modernized parody of the classical odyssey of Theseus with a feminist twist, immersed in seventies pop culture, and mixing standard English, black vernacular, and Yiddish with wisecracking aplomb. Oreo, our young hero, navigates the labyrinth of sound studios and brothels and subway tunnels in Manhattan, seeking to claim her birthright while unwittingly experiencing and triggering a mythic journey of self-discovery like no other.
Fran Ross (1935-1985) grew up in Philadelphia. She wrote Oreo while working as a proofreader and journalist, and then moved to Los Angeles to write for Richard Pryor. Danzy Senna is the author of several books, including the award-winning novel Caucasia. Harryette Mullen, a professor of English at UCLA, is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently Recyclopedia, which won a PEN Beyond Margins Award