Confessions of the Fox: A Novel (Hardcover)

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New York Times Editors’ Choice: “A mind-bending romp through a gender-fluid, eighteenth century London . . . a joyous mash-up of literary genres shot through with queer theory and awash in sex, crime, and revolution.”

Shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize  “A dazzling tale of queer romance and resistance.”—Time

Jack Sheppard and Edgeworth Bess were the most notorious thieves, jailbreakers, and lovers of eighteenth-century London. Yet no one knows the true story; their confessions have never been found.

Until now. Reeling from heartbreak, a scholar named Dr. Voth discovers a long-lost manuscript—a gender-defying exposé of Jack and Bess’s adventures. Is Confessions of the Fox an authentic autobiography or a hoax? As Dr. Voth is drawn deeper into Jack and Bess’s tale of underworld resistance and gender transformation, it becomes clear that their fates are intertwined—and only a miracle will save them all.

Writing with the narrative mastery of Sarah Waters and the playful imagination of Nabokov, Jordy Rosenberg is an audacious storyteller of extraordinary talent.

Praise for Confessions of the Fox

“A cunning metafiction of vulpine versatility . . . an action-adventure tale with postmodern flourishes; an academic comedy spliced with period erotica; an intimate meditation on belonging.”—Katy Waldman, The New Yorker

Confessions of the Fox is so goddamned good. Reading it was like an out-of-body experience. I want to run through the streets screaming about it. It should be in the personal canon of every queer and non-cis person. Read it.—Carmen Maria Machado, National Book Award finalist for Her Body and Other Parties

“A hat tip to Moby-Dick . . . a running footnote hall of mirrors to rival Borges . . . one of the most trenchant calls for progressive action that I have read in a very long time.”The New York Times Book Review

“An ambitious work of metafiction, a sexy queer love story . . . a bold first novel.”Entertainment Weekly

About the Author


Jordy Rosenberg is a transgender writer and scholar. He is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he teaches eighteenth-century literature and gender and sexuality studies. He has received fellowships and awards from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation, the Ahmanson Foundation/J. Paul Getty Trust, the UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies, the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, and the Clarion Foundation’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of a scholarly monograph, Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transformation of Religious Passion. He lives in New York City and Northampton, Massachusetts. Confessions of the Fox is his first novel.

Praise For…


“A dazzling tale of queer romance and resistance against the hegemonic forces of eighteenth-century London . . . Delightfully subversive.”—Time

“A mind-bending romp through a gender-fluid eighteenth-century London . . . at once very funny and very fierce.The New York Times (Editors’ Choice)

“A cunning metafiction of vulpine versatility . . . Confessions is an action-adventure tale with postmodern flourishes; an academic comedy . . . an intimate meditation on belonging that doubles as a political proof.”The New Yorker

Confessions of the Fox is so goddamned good. Reading it was like an out-of-body experience. I want to run through the streets screaming about it. It should be in the personal canon of every queer and non-cis person. Read it.”—Carmen Maria Machado

“A hat tip to Moby-Dick . . . a running footnote hall of mirrors to rival Borges . . . one of the most trenchant calls for progressive action that I have read in a very long time.”The New York Times Book Review

“An ambitious, thought-provoking novel [that] explores everything from gender identity to mass incarceration, moves between centuries, and even features footnotes. . . . You’ll find yourself immersed, and maybe even changed.”Entertainment Weekly

“Resonant of George Saunders, of Nikolai Gogol, and of nothing that’s ever been written before . . . irreverent, erudite, and not to be missed.”Booklist (starred review)

Confessions of the Fox is an ambitious debut, and its exploration of this ‘impossible, ghostly archaeology’ will have you looking askance at tidy histories—which feels like just what Jack and Bess would want.”—NPR

Confessions of the Fox is bold for all of the reasons you already know. . . . But what I love best about Confessions of the Fox is its mammoth feeling. It takes a big cauldron of hope to make a book like this, and we need cauldrons of hope right now and always.”—Electric Lit 

“It’s a rich immensely dirty detailed account of a trans person living in eighteenth-century London. Such a good read, so palpable and fantastic, dizzying and compulsively readable . . . Love!"—Eileen Myles, BuzzFeed 

“It’s a rollicking yarn with a thread of tender first love, a page-turning tale of eighteenth-century devilry.”—HuffPost

“Absurdly fun . . . dazzling.”Publishers Weekly, “Best Summer Books 2018”

“This novel’s marvelous ambition: To show how easily marginalized voices are erased from our histories—and that restoring those voices is a disruptive project of devotion. A singular, daring, and thrilling novel: political, sexy, and cunning as a fox.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A riotous and transporting novel . . . Jordy Rosenberg is a total original—part scamp, part genius—who has written a rich and rollicking page-turner of a first novel.”—Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts

“Beauty and violence go together; and what it is to live and practice that entanglement, under the duress of the cops in our streets and in our heads, is what Confessions of the Fox shows with lively, sexy brilliance.”—Fred Moten, author of Black and Blur


Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780399592270
ISBN-10: 039959227X
Publisher: One World
Publication Date: June 26th, 2018
Pages: 352
Language: English