Frederick Barton’s newest work is a blistering satire chronicling one man’s battle against bureaucracy and corruption. Basketball coach Richard Janus has found himself interim rector of Urban University, a woefully underfunded public college in Choctaw, Alkansea. After Hurricane Hosea devastates the city, Janus must go to war with the unscrupulous heads of Alkansea’s flagship university, facing down massive layoffs and rabid football fans. The absurdity of the American experience is on full display here as Metacom, the legendary Indian sachem, narrates Janus’s struggle, recounting academic intrigue and hypocrisy with searing humor. Barton’s insight into human contradictions earns In the Wake of the Flagship a place beside other campus novel luminaries.
"Barton has a lot of important human business on his mind in this exceptional novel: race, history, the South, hurricanes, laughter, love, and much more. In the Wake of the Flagship is wonderfully inventive, and addictive to read."
"Rick Barton's In the Wake of the Flagship brilliantly turns the historical novel on its head. At once hilarious, thought-provoking, and ultimately tragic, this novel is an opus, the work of a writer at the peak of his powers."
—Joseph Boyden, author of The Orenda
"In this time-warping, genre-blurring novel, satirist Fredrick Barton skewers four centuries of American idiots, from the 'vicious lying rat bastard' Puritans of the 17th century to the self-righteous politicians, small-minded university administrators and bumbling FEMA officials of our own time. Unlike his narrator—a foul-mouthed Native American warrior, who would rather fire off one-liners than destroy his enemies—Barton takes no prisoners."
—Miles Harvey, author of Painter in a Savage Land and The Island of Lost Maps
"In the Wake of the Flagship is absorbing, head-turning, absolutely brilliant."
—Gary B. Nash, author of The Unknown American Revolution
"In the Wake of the Flagship is a delightfully imagined, often hilarious tale about greed, territory, bigotry, and the lies hidden within American history, as told by Metacom, a fierce truthteller brought back from the dead. Barton brilliantly links the legacy of the past to this contemporary moment, in a way that asks essential questions about justice and power. As in all of Fredrick Barton's novels, the prose is lucid, the story engaging, but this might be his best novel yet—outrageous, ambitious, smart, funny, and poignant."
—Rene Steinke, author of Holy Skirts
Award-winning writer and critic Fredrick Barton has authored four novels, a play in verse, and numerous short stories, essays, and reviews. He was a founder of the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans where he served as Director for many years. He continues to teach in the program and live in New Orleans, LA