Elizabeth Knox

Black Oxen

ISBN: 9780864734099
Availability: Available for purchase and will ship within two working days

A fabulous, richly peopled, otherworldly tale — published simultaneously in NZ by VUP, in the US by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, in the UK by Chatto & Windus.

Black Oxen
is the story of Carme Risk’s pursuit of her beautiful and not quite human father through two worlds and three changes of identity. In her forties, in the year 2022, Risk has entered narrative therapy. Her memories and her father’s journal take her from the Eden of her earliest childhood to dusty, poor Lequama, a Latin American country, where she and her father become involved with the slightly mad young leaders of a recent revolution and where everyone seems to practice black magic. And, finally, to life in northern California, where Risk, still in thrall to her elusive father, is now the widow of Lequama’s most notorious torturer.

Black Oxen
features romantic intrigue, machete murders, battles, and bacchanals. Full of unforgettable characters — from an unusually lucky Taoscal chief, to a sexually ferocious therapist, to a frail billionaire who wants to live forever — it is a deliciously entertaining and beautifully written novel.

Praise for Black Oxen

Black Oxen is by no means easy to read; yet its success as a work of fiction may be measured in the way that it leaves the reader with a sense of authenticity, by the brilliance of the prose and by the wealth of knowledge Knox has brought to this vast undertaking. Those who persevere will find themselves enriched by a work of great literary power.

Complex without being complicated, Black Oxen possesses a pure and whole-hearted intelligence. As in The Vintner’s Luck, Knox demonstrates an imagination that is both vast and relentless in its pursuit of truth. This is a world with four dimensions and six senses. Any leap of faith it might require is more than worth taking.

Knox’s talents are considerable. Any writer who can step us through the looking glass by having us watch a school of fish is a treasure. With its interleaved and interconnected stories, this process suggests what Knox is doing on a larger scale. If you’re not averse to swimming in these challenging waters, you can join her in her buoyant and otherworldly ascent.
Robert Onopa NZ BOOKS

A fun read for those who enjoy both the unusual and the intelligent.

. . .readers who share their diligence and patience will be startled to find out where the journey takes them and strangely satisfied at its end.
Margaria Fichtner THE HERALD (USA)

The book has a huge and ambitious sweep, it’s often brilliantly insightful and descriptive and shows clearly that Knox is a writer who keeps getting better and better.

Byzantine intrigue and melodramatic excess abound to an almost unprecedented degree in this fascinating, inordinately busy new novel.