Books by Madison Smartt Bell

Madison Smartt Bell is the author of twelve novels, including The Washington Square Ensemble (1983), Waiting for the End of the World (1985), Straight Cut (1986), The Year of Silence (1987), Doctor Sleep (1991), Save Me, Joe Louis (1993), Ten Indians (199


THE COLOR OF NIGHT by Madison Smartt Bell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 15, 2011

"A cold, dark novel—but a worthy one."
The latest fiction from versatile and distinguished veteran Bell (Devil's Dream, 2009, etc.) provides a grim, pitiless look at the ways that violence perpetuates itself. Read full book review >
DEVIL’S DREAM by Madison Smartt Bell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 3, 2009

"Brave, accomplished and utterly compelling, seamed with passages of haunting, lyrical beauty."
Bell follows up his Haitian trilogy (The Stone that the Builder Refused, 2004, etc.) with a novel of the Confederacy. Read full book review >
NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH 2009 by Madison Smartt Bell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 25, 2009

"Just uneven enough to make seeking out its several gems an entertaining and rewarding reading experience."
Thematic imbalance and wan lyricism figure rather too prominently in this 24th installment of the annual series. Read full book review >
TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE by Madison Smartt Bell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 16, 2007

"An informed correction to biographies that have demonized or lionized Toussaint. Note: Bell's documentation is erratic; sometimes he identifies his sources, sometimes he doesn't."
A sympathetic and sometimes necessarily speculative biography of the Haitian leader whose military and political acumen made possible the independence of his country—although he died in a French prison before the official declaration on Jan. 1, 1804. Read full book review >
THE STONE THAT THE BUILDER REFUSED by Madison Smartt Bell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 9, 2004

"This rich work—in all its (very real) glories, despite its (inevitable) longueurs—is the logical culmination of an obsession with racial issues that has consistently dominated Bell's fiction. As such, it merits the utmost attention and respect."
Bell's heroically ambitious trilogy comes to a close as he delves into the concluding months of the Haitian Revolution, begun in 1791, and the final days of that island country's black liberator, Toussaint Louverture. Read full book review >
MASTER OF THE CROSSROADS by Madison Smartt Bell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"A most impressive fusion of history and fiction, and easily the finest work of this still-young writer's splendid career."
A magnum opus in the making continues with this second in a trilogy (after All Souls' Rising, 1995) portraying the late-18th-century Haitian Revolution. Read full book review >
TEN INDIANS by Madison Smartt Bell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 8, 1996

"The novel packs some of Bell's inner-city grit and power, but he has done, and can do, better than this. (Author tour)"
The prolific Bell's ninth novel (All Souls' Rising, 1995, etc.) uses a miscellany of narrators to recount the experiences, and influence, of Mike Devlin, a middle-aged white psychiatrist who runs a tae kwon do school in a volatile black Baltimore neighborhood. Read full book review >
ALL SOULS' RISING by Madison Smartt Bell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 16, 1995

"A rousing and vivid account of the independence of Haiti, though at times overburdened by its own excesses."
The clash of cultures and the blood of revolution form the contours of a long, uneven tale of the 18th-century slave uprising in Haiti. Read full book review >
SAVE ME, JOE LOUIS by Madison Smartt Bell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1993

"Readers would do better to turn to Richard Price's Clockers, and Bell would be better served if he stayed with shorter forms, where the need to compress and shape allows his considerable talent to shine."
Self-indulgent underbelly-of-life saga about two small-time crooks who weave their way from New York to Baltimore to the South before blowing each other away. Read full book review >
SOLDIER'S JOY by Madison Smartt Bell
Released: June 8, 1989

Bell's gritty urban first novel, The Washington Square Ensemble (1983), has been followed by cliched genre efforts. Read full book review >