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The epigraph for Young's third novel comes from Huck Finn so you'll know from the start of Sidney J. Prettymon's (a.k.a. Sitting Pretty) protracted rap what kind of archetype he's based on. He came out to California after WW II because the state of Mississippi denied him his GI benefits, so--why not?--he might be Nigger Jim's great-grandson. He's a part-time janitor with not much worldly ambition; his college-educated kids ""keepin up they image as professional Negroes. . . successful, sophisticated and with it, but I always end up racin back home where I can soak my feet in some Epsom salt and listen to the people and the music on the radio"" while pulling on his Ripple or his Eyetalian Swiss. But during the year that this slice of ""Sitting Pretty's"" life covers, he begins to make a bit of a name for himself calling in to one of those radio talk shows, eventually clearing a cool two thousand bills from some commercial TV spots, which he dumps onto the hospital bed of his cancer-ridden ex-wife as both guilt money and love offering. Like last year's Who is Angelina?, the scene is Pale Alto all the way, but Young has got himself a much more likable character to study with this nappy old coot, obviously a dying breed, than he had in that snippy little Angelina. You'll nod agreement when his daughter says, ""Daddy, you sure can run your mouth.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 1976
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston