The theme of The Mercantile Library’s
Harriet Beecher Stowe Lecture series is “writing to change the world.”
Few writers live up to that idea better than Chris Abani, who was
imprisoned in his native Nigeria after the publication of his first
novel, 1985’s Masters of the Board.
Michael Griffith’s singular new novel, Trophy, opens with this succinct sentence: “Vada Prickett is a corpse.” What follows is not nearly as blunt or immediately discernible — a wild, meta-licious ride rife with puns, crafty word play, digressions, metaphors, tangents and puzzles, all of which eventually lead back to Vada, a 29-year-old “Hose Associate” at a car wash in South Carolina.