Mason & Dixon is a postmodernist novel by American author Thomas Pynchon published in 1997. It centers on the collaboration of the historical Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in their astronomical and surveying exploits in Cape Colony, Saint Helena, Great Britain and along the Mason-Dixon line in British North America on the eve of the American Revolutionary War.
Intermingled with Mason and Dixon's biographies, history, fantasy, legend, speculation, and outright fabrication, the novel is based on the focal point of one Rev. Wicks Cherrycoke, a clergyman of dubious orthodoxy, who attempts to entertain and divert his extended family on a cold December evening — partly for amusement, and partly to keep his coveted status as a guest in the house.
The novel's scope takes in aspects of established Colonial American history including the call of the West, the often ignored histories of women, Native Americans, and slaves, plus excursions into geomancy, Deism, a hollow Earth, and — perhaps — alien abduction. The novel also contains philosophical discussions and parables of automata/robots, the afterlife, slavery, feng shui and others. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Nevil Maskelyne,