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After he wakes up blind—and his sight returns after a violent attack—Sovereign must re-examine his life and beliefs.


A Walter Mosley masterpiece—available in print only from the Club

Sovereign James wakes up one morning to discover that he’s gone blind. Sovereign’s doctors can't find anything wrong with him, and he doesn’t remember any physical or psychological trauma. But unless his sight returns, Sovereign’s 25-year career in human resources will end. A couple of weeks later, he is violently mugged on the street. His sight briefly, miraculously returns during the attack: for a few seconds, he can see as well as hear a young female bystander’s cries of distress.

Now he must grapple with two questions: What caused him to lose his vision—and why does violence restore it? As Sovereign searches for the woman he glimpsed, he will be forced to re-examine his most closely held beliefs about race and about himself.


Wow! That’s my unfiltered reaction to Odyssey, the newest title from the brilliant, super prolific crime fiction writer Walter Mosley. Former president Bill Clinton famously called Mosley one of his favorite authors; despite this sterling recommendation, I had not yet spent too much time with any of Mosley’s novels until now. I was blown away and grew obsessed with lead character Sovereign, hooked on the mystery of his lost sight, and perplexed by his blooming, sexy romance with Toni. Read this now.--Danielle


"A woman screamed and he felt a hard blow to the right side of his head. His shoulder thudded against the wall and the breath was forced from his lungs. 

The woman screamed a second time and he was struck again. This time he fell on his side and looked up…. 

There was the blurry image of a dark-skinned man ripping at the pockets of Sovereign’s pants and, beyond the thief, a young black woman in an ochre dress stood screaming.

The thief turned Sovereign over and stole his wallet. Then he leapt to his feet and ran down the fading street.

The young woman leaned over Sovereign.

'Are you okay?' she said. 'You’re bleeding.'

It was a face both plain and pretty, pressed down by more pain that Sovereign felt from the blows. She began to fade into darkness and he reached out for her as if trying to hold on to the brief light granted him."


I was blown away by Odyssey for many, many reasons. I fell in love with Sovereign and really enjoyed being taken on a journey with him. How did you decide that he would need to be stricken by some disability and that it would be blindness?
From the first sentence of the book, Sovereign was blind. I didn't know why at first, and then I found him going to see a psychoanalyst. That revelation led to his hysterical blindness and the rest of the novel was there, in front of me, to find out why he had lost his sight.

I also loved the symmetry of the relationship between Sovereign and his brother; Sovereign thought himself a revolutionary working within the confines of society, while his brother was very much the same working outside of that structure. From where did this idea of a “corporate revolutionary” come, and why did you need to create Drum-Eddie?
I don't think I could live in a world where tricksters like Drum-Eddie did not exist. While most of the rest of us plod ahead through our self-made swamps, Eddie soars overhead calling out to us. It is that call that keeps us from drowning in the humdrum reality of the workaday world.

Living an entire lifetime in the highly organized humdrum of corporate reality, Sovereign tried to overcome his plight by politicizing it. Was he right? Maybe for a while. But in the end he realizes, at least partly, that he has to transcend the world created for him and enter a world of possibility.

And what of Toni? In your opinion, is Sovereign really in love with her?
He is in love with Toni, but that doesn't mean that there is any need for them to be together in any connubial sense. The fact of their love has to be enough.

What writers do you love? What are you reading right now?
From Marquez to Camus; from Hughes to Gogol; from Moorcock to Zelazny. There are so many wonderful writers from so many parts of the world and so many genres.

Tell us about your next project.
Next is Debbie Doesn't Do It Anymore, coming out in May.


Walter Mosley is the author of the Easy Rawlins and Leonid McGill mystery series, as well as the Crosstown to Oblivion series. He has won an O. Henry Award, a Grammy® and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in New York City.

  • SKU: 000000000001386311
  • Author: Walter Mosley
  • Release date: Dec 17, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781611291186
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Commitment Credit: 1
  • Book Search Plus: No
  • Warnings: No
  • Height: 0.502
  • Length: 8.250
  • Width: 5.500

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