I'm usually very slow to come around to things. It took me two years to 'feel' Wu Tang's first album, even longer to appreciate Basquiat...but I couldn't believe Fran Ross's hilarious 1974 novel Oreo hadn't been on my cultural radar.
—Paul Beatty, New York Times
With its mix of vernacular dialects, bilingual and ethnic humor, aside jokes, neologisms, verbal quirks, and linguistic oddities, Ross's novel dazzles...
Oreo is one of the funniest books I've ever read. To convey Oreo's humor effectively, I would have to use the comedic graphs, menus, and quizzes Ross uses in the novel. So instead, I just settle for, 'You have to read this.'
—Mat Johnson, NPR Books
Oreo has snap and whimsy to burn. It’s a nonstop outbound flight to a certain kind of readerly bliss. It may have been first published more than 40 years ago, but its time is now.
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
Fran Ross’ voice and bravado threads this inexhaustibly inventive first novel. The author, who died at age 50 in 1985, didn’t release another novel. Still, we can delight in the masterpiece that she created that is just as urgent now as was it was then, if not more so.
—Patrik Henry Bass, NY1
—Danielle Deavens, Essence Magazine
A ground-breaking satire.
Think: Thomas Pynchon meets Don Quixote, mixed with a crack joke crafter. I'm not sure I've ever admired a book's inventiveness and soul more.
—John Warner, Chicago Tribune
Readers who enjoy play-on-words and post-modern novels will love this book.
The brilliant, hilarious, multilingual, brash, tender, bawdy, and unsentimental voice of Ross’s heroine equals the rare and outrageous voice of Ross herself.
—Women's Review of Books
What a rollicking little masterpiece this book is, truly one of the most delightful, hilarious, intelligent novels I’ve stumbled across in recent years, a wholly original work written in a wonderful mashed-up language that mixes high academic prose, black slang and Yiddish to great effect. I must have laughed out loud a hundred times, and it’s a short book, just over 200 pages, which averages out to one booming gut-laugh every other page.
"Setting out from her black household in Philadelphia to find her deadbeat Jewish father in New York, [Oreo] proceeds through one of the funniest journeys ever, amid a whirlwind of wisecracks in a churning mix of Yiddish, black vernacular, and every sort of English."
—Danielle Dutton, The Guardian