Many have tried and many have failed to breathe second life into the literary cultural icon Huckleberry Finn. In Robert Coover's new novel, Huck Out West, he does just that, reinventing the story of Huck Finn as he escapes "sivilization" and heads out into "the territory."
In the book, Huck and Tom face nonstop adventure in the midst of brutal violence, murder, greed, racism, slavery, widespread poverty, religious fanaticism, and even near-execution. Along the way, Huck meets Eeteh, of the Lakota tribe, and they form a deep bond.
"It started really with the fact that I've written a lot about the West," Coover told The Takeaway's John Hockenberry. "Then I ... found [Twain's] intended sequel, [Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer among the Indians]. It's a very problematic work. Very racist, very anti-Native American, and so on. So, I thought, 'That has to be corrected.'"
Get the rest of Coover's interview on his novel by clicking the "Listen" button above.