by Clarence Major
introduction by W. Lawrence Hogue
University of Alabama Press, 1986
eISBN: 978-1-57366-838-5 | Paper: 978-1-57366-143-0
Library of Congress Classification PS3563.A39M9 2008
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54


Originally published in 1986, this new edition returns to print a classic, influential work of American fiction

The author of the acclaimed novel Reflex and Bone Structure returns here in My Amputations to the question of identity, the double, adventure, detection, and mystery, but with more hypnotic power and range. In My Amputations he has his protagonist, Mason Ellis (who may just be “a desperate ex-con” or a wronged American novelist out to right the wrong done to him), jump through flaming loops like a trained dog, so to speak. In other words, there seems to be no end to the troubles Mason Ellis faces.
His story takes him from the South Side of Chicago, to New York, with a stint in Attica prison, across America and Europe and into the primal depths of Africa. Mason, all the while, tries to convince the reader that he is the important American writer he says he is. Upon his release from prison he sets out to prove his claim. After an audacious bank-robbery and a couple of burglaries that are hilarious, he goes into hiding to escape the malice of one of his cohorts, and eventually flees to Europe. The irony is that he is now as much the runner as the seeker. After encounters with a Zuni ex-folksinger, kidnappers, the New York underworld, literary groupies, an Italian swordsman, a violent German secret society, and an anti-bellum cotillion in rural Greece, he finds himself face to face (behind a mask) with his own destiny.