book cover of The Talented Ribkins

The Talented Ribkins

(2017)
A novel by

 
 
At 72, Johnny Ribkins shouldn't have such problems: he's got one week to come up with the money he stole from his mobster boss or it's curtains.

What may or may not be useful to Johnny as he flees is that he comes from an African American family that has been gifted with superpowers that are a bit, well, odd. Okay, very odd. For example, Johnny's father could see colors no one else could see. His brother could scale perfectly flat walls. His cousin belches fire. And Johnny himself can make precise maps of any space you name, whether he's been there or not.

In the old days, the Ribkins family tried to apply their gifts to the civil rights effort, calling themselves the Justice Committee. But when their, eh, superpowers proved insufficient, the group fell apart. Out of frustration, Johnny and his brother used their talents to stage a series of burglaries, each more daring than the last.

Fast forward a couple of decades and Johnny's in a race against the clock to dig up loot he's stashed all over Florida. His brother is gone, but he has an unexpected sidekick: his brother's daughter, Eloise, who has a special superpower of her own.

Inspired by W. E. B. Du Bois' famous essay "The Talented Tenth" and fueled by Ladee Hubbard's marvelously original imagination, The Talented Ribkins is a big-hearted debut novel about race, class, politics, and the unique gifts that, while they may cause some problems from time to time, bind a family together.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"What a pleasure it was to take a road trip with The Talented Ribkins, a simultaneously gifted and flawed family, sharp-witted but prone to making utterly human errors. Ladee Hubbard has given us a fresh and original debut novel." - Jami Attenberg

"The Talented Ribkins is tender, inventive, sharp, funny, and smart, like going home for a family reunion and remembering mid-argument that your cousins have superpowers. The Ribkins’ various talents and the trouble those talents get them into and out of make this book a riveting read. Its attention to connection, forgiveness, and the problem of figuring out again and again what superpowers it might take to survive being a black family in America make it an important and wildly original debut." - Danielle Evans

"The Talented Ribkins is a charming and delightful debut novel with a profound heart, and Ladee Hubbard’s voice is a welcome original." - Mary Gaitskill

"With The Talented Ribkins, Ladee Hubbard proves herself to be a rare talent who pops onto the scene fully formed as a writer of power and purpose. This is a heart-wrenching quest into the absurdity that is family. Like the best literary fantasies, The Talented Ribkins succeeds because the heart that beats at its center couldn’t be realer." - Mat Johnson

"Ladee Hubbard's The Talented Ribkins is a first novel of extraordinary confidence and panache. Brisk, funny, tender, scathing, the book is a road story with teeth, a secret history of those black Americans whom W. E. B. Dubois called 'the talented tenth' - underground, in plain sight, sometimes both at the same time - superheroes of reality." - Zachary Lazar

"For sheer reading pleasure Ladee Hubbard’s original and wildly inventive novel is in a class by itself." - Toni Morrison

"The Talented Ribkins is a quest, a treasure hunt, an unearthing of the hopeful and terrible past in service of the future. Wry, with a deft sense of metaphor, Ladee Hubbard delivers a familiar yet uncharted America in which her characters need their superpowers just to survive." - Stewart O'Nan


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Used availability for Ladee Hubbard's The Talented Ribkins

Hardback Editions

June 2017 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Talented Ribkins
Author(s): Ladee Hubbard
ISBN: 1-61219-636-5 / 978-1-61219-636-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Melville House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

August 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Talented Ribkins
Author(s): Ladee Hubbard
ISBN: 1-61219-728-0 / 978-1-61219-728-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Melville House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

October 2017 : Audio CD
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Title: The Talented Ribkins
Author(s): Ladee Hubbard
ISBN: 1-5385-0329-8 / 978-1-5385-0329-4
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 2017 : Audio CD
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Title: The Talented Ribkins: A Novel
Author(s): Ladee Hubbard
ISBN: 1-5385-0330-1 / 978-1-5385-0330-0
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 2017 : MP3 CD
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Title: The Talented Ribkins: A Novel
Author(s): Ladee Hubbard
ISBN: 1-5385-0331-X / 978-1-5385-0331-7
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 2017 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Talented Ribkins: A Novel
Author(s): Ladee Hubbard
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   


October 2017 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Talented Ribkins: A Novel
Author(s): Ladee Hubbard
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon CA   


October 2017 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Talented Ribkins: A Novel
Author(s): Ladee Hubbard
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

August 2017 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Talented Ribkins
Author(s): Ladee Hubbard
Publisher: Melville House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU