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One of the challenge points on the Better World Books 2017 Reading […]
William Henry Lewis
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Tacoma Book Center
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"Rossonian Days" follows a Kansas City jazz troupe to a gig in Denver, where they hope to strike it big. This story, itself a swinging riff, is also a humbling chronicle of the evolution of jazz and an incisive look at the history of America's racial divide. In "Potcakes," Carlos Stubbs is troubled and weary in the midst of paradise, obsessed with the incessant barking of dogs. He has a degree he's not using and a woman he's afraid to love. Time is passing, and he must decide whether he'll languish or thrive. "Kudzu" reunites a couple whose sweetly sexual relationship comes to an end when Evvie, a bohemian free spirit, "drove west, drove north, away from here" in search of something more compelling than her small Southern town could offer. And in the title story, "I Got Somebody in Staunton," a Black college professor, haunted by his dying uncle Ize's memories of lynchings and the ways of the old South, flirts with danger by giving a ride to an enigmatic young White woman whose long, blond hair is twisting into dreads.
With I Got Somebody in Staunton, Lewis has written stories that will catapult him into the first rank of American storytellers.
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