RED BONE WOMAN by Carlyie Tillery


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A new segment of Americana, in a story involving a little known ethnic group, scathingly termed ""Red Bones"" in Louisiana --scientifically presumed to derive from ""red"" Indian ancestry. In a rural area, fast deteriorating on every score, the Red Bones were still forbidden access to white schools and refused to go to Negro schools, where their insistence on Spanish ancestry made them feel they would lower their own claims to white status. Intermarriage was frowned upon, and Randall virtually outlawed himself when he took a Red Bone woman into his lonely house. Even their eventual marriage failed to secure him the respect he had forfeited and his loneliness seemed intensified by their differentness on virtually every plane. It is a strange and haunting sort of story. Not easy reading, because of the constant use of the difficult dialect, but a revealing book, and a searching study of an oblique kind of miscegenation. The market? Perhaps that of the borderline lay scientist -- the readers who liked the books on the Jackson whites -- those concerned with various ramifications of our involved minority and racial problems. The story is slight and bulls up to a climax in which the hardly won right to schooling is threatened by the Klan, and Randall loses his life defending the cause of the wife he has taken and the children he has fathered. A psychological novel, uneven in style, but worth special consideration.

Pub Date: April 6th, 1950
Publisher: John Day