Winkie

Clifford Chase,

Winkie
 
 
A teddy bear is arrested for terrorism in “this surprisingly effective allegory of our terror-stricken times . . . a funny and sweet yet seriously topical novel” (Kirkus, starred review).
 
In Cliff Chase’s scathingly funny debut novel, a mild-mannered teddy bear named Winkie comes to life—only to find himself on the wrong side of America’s war on terror. After suffering decades of neglect from the children who once loved him, Winkie decides to take charge of his fate by hurling himself off the shelf, jumping out the window, and heading to the forest. But just as he discovers the joys of mobility, self-determination, and 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. 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.
 
Winkie introduces the most memorable protagonist since the Velveteen Rabbit, and—with the help of a lesbian Muslim cleaning woman, a stuttering attorney, and a Lacan-spewing bear cub—exposes the cruel absurdities of our age while exploring what it means to be human.


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