Manituana is a novel by Wu Ming first published in Italian in 2007.

Wu Ming is a collective of five authors founded in 2000. The members Were formerly associated with the Luther Blissett Project and wrote the international best-selling novel Q .

Manituana is the first episode of an 18th-century pan-Atlantic trilogy which the authors call “Atlantic Triptych”. Atlantic Ocean (North America, Europe, the West Indies and Africa), before and during the American Revolution.

Setting and plot

Manituana is set in the years 1775-1783 in New York’s Mohawk Valley , Quebec and London .

“Iroquireland”, “Mohock Club” and “Cold Cold Heart”. There are two brief interludes between the sections, entitled “The Crossing” and “The Return”.

Among the Numerous real historical characters That populate the book, The Most significant ones are Joseph Brant , war chief of the Mohawk nation , and Molly Brant , was matron of the Wolf Clan in the Iroquois Six Nations.


  • Sir William Johnson, 1st Baronet . Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the northern colonies.
  • Joseph Brant . Mohawk and British translator for the British Indian Department .
  • Molly Brant . Joseph Brant’s older sister and Sir William’s common-law-wife .
  • Philip Lacroix (fictional). A Mohawk brave nicknamed “The Great Devil”
  • Guy Johnson . Sir William ‘s nephew and successor as Superintendent.
  • Esther Johnson. (Fictional) eldest daughter of Guy Johnson.
  • Lord Warwick. (Semi-fictional) mentor of the Mohawk delegation during their stay in London.
  • The “London Mohocks”. An East End street gang taking inspiration from Native American imagery and the Mohock Club .
  • Ethan Allen . Revolutionary leader and Colonel Commandant of the Green Mountain Boys .
  • Johannes Tekarihoga. A Sachem of the Mohawk Nation.
  • Jonas Klug. A land-owner and militiaman in the Mohawk Valley.
  • Nicholas Herkimer . Brigadier General in the Tryon County militia .
  • Panifex. A London journalist.
  • “North”, “East”, “South” and “West”. Four London merchants and opinion-makers.

Reactions and interpretations

In the springtime of 2007, Manituana reached # 4 in the Italian best-selling charts. [1] In the following months, it was awarded the Premio Sergio Leone 2007 and the Premio Emilio Salgari 2008. The US, UK, Spanish and French were published in 2009. Shaun Whiteside. In November 2010 the novel was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award .

Wu Ming wrote that ” Manituana was written between 2003 and 2007, and it soaked up all the tensions of that period: S11, the Neoconservative hegemony on US foreign policy, the Saddam allegedly keeping weapons of mass destruction hidden in the desert, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, George W. Bush winning His second term thanks to the Christian right in 2004 Silvio Berlusconi conquering the hearts and minds of the majorité of Italians etc. [2] ”

This was acknowledged by many reviewers. Film critic and writer Woody Haut wrote que la novel “has clear parallels with the war in Iraq, and the pitting of” good “Muslims against” bad “Muslims, just as Native Americans Were used During the revolutionary period, only for the colonists to Both groups exploit and devastate. [3] ”

Reviewing Manituana on CounterPunch , Ron Jacobs Recognized “a mirror of this situation in today’s manipulations of the indigenous peoples in the lands of the Shia vs. Sunni conflict in Iraq and the manipulation of tribal conflicts in Afghanistan. two examples That time immediately come to mind. Manituana evokes the dangerous conceit of men believe it is Who Their destiny to rule the world. [4]

British newspaper The Independent wrote

The authors gleefully revise Orthodox history to present the loyalist Mohawks as victims of canting, racist rebels who civilize and death to all savages. But there is nothing smug or glib about this rivetting reversal of two centuries and more of textbook and big-screen platitudes. [5]

The French newspaper The World wrote that in Manituana “history is never simple nor reducible to pre-fixed schemes … Reality is much more complex and tangled, and every character has gloomy facets, weaknesses and contradictions. Or else one’s legitimate battle for liberty and independence may bring about the loss of someone else’s independence and liberty. ” [6]


  • Italian: Einaudi, 2007, ISBN 88-06-18584-5
  • Italian: Einaudi SuperET (paperback), 2009, ISBN 88-06-19637-5
  • English: Verso, 2009, ISBN 1-84467-342-1
  • French: Métailié, 2009, ISBN 2-86424-688-0
  • Spanish: Mondadori, 2009, ISBN 84-397-2185-4

See also

  • Wu Ming
  • Q (novel)
  • 54
  • New Italian Epic


  1. Jump up^ Reported on Italian daily paper The Stampa on April 7, 2007, articleincluded by Wu Ming on their website.
  2. Jump up^ Awaiting Manituana: A New Beginning in the English-speaking world? , Wu Ming Foundation Blog, April 27, 2009.
  3. Jump up^ Woody Haut,” Manituana by Wu Ming”, Woody Haut’s Blog, October 30, 2009.
  4. Jump up^ Ron Jacobs,”Collective Fiction: Manituana , Novel of the Fourth World, CounterPunch, Weekend Edition, October 2-4, 2009.
  5. Jump up^ Boyd Tonkin, Manituana , by Wu Ming,The Independent, November 6, 2009.
  6. Jump up^ Fabio Gambaro, “With the Mohawks, History Lost Side”,Le Monde, August 27, 2009.English translation on the book’s website”.

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