“An incredible story that, through the journey of one man trying to solve the mystery of his name, blows away widespread delusions about race in American history and shows our deeply intertwined humanity.”
(Henry Louis Gates, Jr.)
“[The Fiddler on Pantico Run] unfolds like an adventure novel... [a] captivating debut... [Joe Mozingo] carves out gems of wisdom in narrating his discoveries.”
(J. C. Gabel Los Angeles Times
“Vividly fascinating… [Mozingo] unpacks our mixed-race colonial history and its heartbreaking consequences… Mozingo’s most revelatory finding—the fundamental arbitrariness of racial designations—implicitly raises another question: What, if anything, does our genealogy really say about us?”
“The Fiddler on Pantico Run is brilliantly researched, eloquently written, and a deeply thoughtful examination of race, identity and ancestry.”
(Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Wide-ranging… [Mozingo] makes his personal history come alive. He successfully places his family’s tale in the larger context of the tortuous history of race in America, connecting his personal genealogy to the tides of American history during the era of slavery.”
“Mozingo's thorough scouring of his genealogy from Africa to Jamestown, VA, is a quirky… and finally satisfying account… With irony and wit displayed in encounters with unprepossessing relatives, the author challenges received notions of race and class.”
“Joe Mozingo has unearthed an extraordinary story and tells it powerfully. Beautifully composed, his narrative weaves together the past and present as he plunges deeply into his family’s history. It is a brave journey, yielding one illumination after another.”
(Henry Wiencek, author of Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves)
"[The Fiddler on Pantico Run] is a fascinating, highly detailed book, which raises difficult questions about ancestry, identity and race...When you read this amazing book, it will stagger you."
(Laurie Hertzel Star Tribune
“The book is suspenseful. The book is thoughtful. The book is interesting… Mozingo never has regretted his journey to the African continent. Neither will his readers.”
“A powerful book. . . endearing and honest . . .profound. . . I was moved by this book and Mozingo’s thoughtful prose"
(Peter Orner, author of Love and Shame and Love The Rumpus
"A fascinating family story” and book-of-the-month selection
is a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times
. He won a Robert F. Kennedy Award for his coverage of the earthquake in Haiti and helped lead a Miami Herald
reporting team whose investigation into the crash of the space shuttle Columbia was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The Fiddler on Pantico Run
was named a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award, administered by Columbia University and Harvard’s Nieman Foundation. He lives in Southern California with his wife and two children.