Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Mobilian Jargon: Background information when reading Cahokia Jazz

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Read-Alikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Cahokia Jazz

A Novel

by Francis Spufford

Cahokia Jazz by Francis Spufford X
Cahokia Jazz by Francis Spufford
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Feb 2024, 464 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Joe Hoeffner
Buy This Book

About this Book

Mobilian Jargon

This article relates to Cahokia Jazz

Large grassy mounds with staircase built inJoe Barrow, the protagonist of Francis Spufford's Cahokia Jazz, does not speak the titular city's common language, Anopa. He learns bits and pieces of it over the course of the novel, at around the same pace as the reader (heeding the suggestion of his friend Alan Jacobs, Spufford does not include a glossary). We learn the words for Native, Black, and white people (takouma, taklousa, and takata); the word for "warrior," which is the preferred title for Cahokia police officers (tastanagi); the word for "chief," in this context referring to the chief of police (miko).

As Spufford explains in the Notes and Acknowledgements at the end of Cahokia Jazz, Anopa became "something like a Swahili for the whole indigenous population at the continent's center" in the world of the novel, a "synthetic, fully formed language." Essentially, Anopa is what might have happened if Mobilian Jargon, once the lingua franca of Indigenous populations along the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, had ...

Subscribers Only

This article is only available to members at this time, but you can read these articles for free.

About Membership

Member Login

Library Patron Login

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Clear
    by Carys Davies
    John Ferguson is a principled man. But when, in 1843, those principles drive him to break from the ...
  • Book Jacket: Change
    by Edouard Louis
    Édouard Louis's 2014 debut novel, The End of Eddy—an instant literary success, published ...
  • Book Jacket: Big Time
    Big Time
    by Ben H. Winters
    Big Time, the latest offering from prolific novelist and screenwriter Ben H. Winters, is as ...
  • Book Jacket: Becoming Madam Secretary
    Becoming Madam Secretary
    by Stephanie Dray
    Our First Impressions reviewers enjoyed reading about Frances Perkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
A Great Country
by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
A novel exploring the ties and fractures of a close-knit Indian-American family in the aftermath of a violent encounter with the police.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The House on Biscayne Bay
    by Chanel Cleeton

    As death stalks a gothic mansion in Miami, the lives of two women intertwine as the past and present collide.

  • Book Jacket

    The Stone Home
    by Crystal Hana Kim

    A moving family drama and coming-of-age story revealing a dark corner of South Korean history.

Win This Book
Win The Funeral Cryer

The Funeral Cryer by Wenyan Lu

Debut novelist Wenyan Lu brings us this witty yet profound story about one woman's midlife reawakening in contemporary rural China.



Solve this clue:

M as A H

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.