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Joe Gould's Teeth

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From New Yorker staff writer and Harvard historian Jill Lepore, the dark, spellbinding tale of her restless search for the missing longest book ever written, a century-old manuscript called "The Oral History of Our Time."

Joe Gould's Teeth is a Poe-like tale of detection, madness, and invention. Digging through archives all over the country, Lepore unearthed evidence that "The Oral History of Our Time" did in fact once exist. Relying on letters, scraps, and Gould's own diaries and notebooks--including volumes of his lost manuscript--Lepore argues that Joe Gould's real secret had to do with sex and the color line, with modernists' relationship to the Harlem Renaissance, and, above all, with Gould's terrifying obsession with the African American sculptor Augusta Savage. In ways that even Gould himself could not have imagined, what Gould wrote down really is a history of our time: unsettling and ferocious.

256 pages, Paperback

First published May 17, 2016

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About the author

Jill Lepore

33 books1,121 followers
Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History, Harvard College Professor, and chair of Harvard's History and Literature Program. She is also a staff writer at The New Yorker.

Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award for the best non-fiction book on race, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; The Name of War (Knopf, 1998), winner of the Bancroft Prize, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize, and the Berkshire Prize and a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Award.

A co-founder of the magazine Common-place, Lepore’s essays and reviews have also appeared in the New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement, American Scholar, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, The Daily Beast, the Journal of American History and American Quarterly. Her research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Pew Foundation, the Gilder Lehrman Institute, the Charles Warren Center, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. She has served as a consultant for the National Park Service and currently serves on the boards of the National Portrait Gallery and the Society of American Historians.
Jill lives in Cambridge,Massachusetts.

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