THE CROSSING by Alain Albert


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A white native of France, who had never visited the Southern United States has attempted to express the frustration of the oppressed Southern Negro and succeeds in projecting a universal anguish, although hampered by only faintly realized milieu and speech. This is the tragic story of Dan Peebles, Negro, veteran of Korea, newly returned to Mississippi, brought by his friends to a mental hospital because Peebles had hit a white man in a whirlwind of hatred. Peebles escapes from the hospital to track the earth of Mississippi for an answer. He finds other solutions -- fat Richie who shuts out trouble in a chrysalis of cheeriness; college boy Kenny, white oriented, pathetically optimistic; Chuck who ""keeps cool"". He remembers the calm affirmation of Doudou, negating the white race with an icy hatred; he remembers a white musician whose race Peebles almost forget. The pull toward Mary, fighting interdependence, frees him momentarily from despair, and an urge to act overcomes him. Daniel Peebles strikes out at a cop, and death follows as the gathering night...Although the author has an obviously limited background for this book, and the dialect is peculiar, the obsessive anguish is well sustained, the savage style shakes with fury at injustice. Somber with no solutions.

Pub Date: April 3rd, 1964
Publisher: Brazilier