“Winkie offers readers a sort of odd, outrageous delight. A verve and a nostalgia... that it is no crime to indulge.” The San Francisco Chronicle
978-0-8021-4310-5 • $12.00 • Paperback • June 2007
“Winkie is a remarkable character, made vibrant and utterly convincing flesh (plush?) under Chase’s masterful hand. This is a hauntingly beautiful, lovely and strange, funny and sly, surreptitiously moving book.” David Rakoff, author of Don’t Get Too Comfortable
“Winkie is a luminous achievementa magical, eccentric novel about the subversive imagination, and about the power of anarchic play. I recommend this book with the utmost enthusiasm and joy.” Wayne Koestenbaum, author of Jackie Under My Skin and Andy Warhol
In Cliff Chase’s scathingly funny and surprisingly humane debut novel, the zeitgeist assumes the form of a one-foot-tall ursine Everymana mild-mannered teddy bear named Winkie who comes to life and finds himself on the wrong side of America’s war on terror. After suffering decades of neglect from the children who once loved him, Winkie realizes that taking charge of his fate is as simple as knowing that he can do it, and so he hurls himself off the shelf, jumps out the window, and takes to the forest. But just as he is discovering the joys and wonders of mobility, self-determination, even true love, this small brown creature of indeterminate gender gets trapped in the jaws of a society gone rabid with fear and paranoia.
Having come upon the cabin of the mad professor who stole his beloved, Winkie is suddenly surrounded by the FBI, who instantly conclude that he is the evil mastermind behind dozens of terrorist attacks that have been traced to the forest. Terrified and confused, Winkie is brought to trial, where the prosecution attempts to seal the little bear’s fate by calling upon witnesses from the trials of Galileo, Socrates, John Scopes, and Oscar Wilde.
Emotionally gripping and intellectually compelling, Winkie introduces the most memorable protagonist since the Velveteen Rabbit, andwith the help of a lesbian Moslem cleaning woman, a stuttering attorney, and a Lacan-spewing bear cubbrilliantly exposes the cruel absurdities of our age and explores what it means to be human in an increasingly barbaric world.