Spanning over forty years of the author's writing career, this collection of short stories uncovers the internal struggle of black people caught between rage and resignation in American society.Spanning over forty years of the author's writing career, this collection of short stories uncovers the internal struggle of black people caught between rage and resignation in American society.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 1991-04-05 Racism, poverty and bad luck are the main players in this volume of 60 stories; when a character gets a hold of $10, it's likely to end in disaster and a $20 debt. Himes, who died in 1984, reveals the underbelly of the Afro-American experience (he began to write while in prison for a jewel theft). In the space of two bleak pages, a black man has his feet burned by a white mob, then amputated by a doctor; when the amputee doesn't rise for the National Anthem, he is struck by a white man. Yet Himes counters the carnage with a dry humor and humanity. In ``Pork Chop Paradise'' an ex-con preacher achieves an apotheosis in the eyes of his flock when he appears to ``turn de cobblestones tuh po'k chops.'' It is, not incidentally, a woman who brings him down. In Himes's stories women frequently--through treachery or love, which in turn inspires crime--cause the ruin of their men. Though Himes ( The Third Generation ) sometimes sketches symbolic fables, more often he's as gritty as a police blotter photo. These stories, written between 1933 and 1979, survive as history, as powerful fiction and, unfortunately, as commentary on the current situation of the Afro-American. (May)
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