THE THIRD GENERATION by Chester Himes

THE THIRD GENERATION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The raw violence and vernacular of If He Hollers Let Him Go, Cast The First Stone, etc. continue here for a demonstration of the ruinous results of the uncut navel cord and apron string. Charles is the youngest son of dark-skinned Professor Taylor, in a Mississippi university, and Lillian- his light-skinned wife. Lillian is not only ""color-struck "" and has many artificial notions, but she centers all of the love she refuses her husband on Charles. Her occasional gestures of gentility (and her attempts to pass) cost her husband his jobs; her middle son, William to whom Charles is devoted, loses his eyesight and they move north to St. Louis- then to Cleveland- to try and cure what is an irreparable damage. Charles, lonely without his brother, guilty, moves through a difficult adolescence; he is almost permanently crippled in an accident; he takes up with whores and delinquents as he turns against his mother; he is arrested and paroled- and finally he is freed when his father's death-for which he is partially responsible- makes a man of him.... A squalid- to sordid documentary which has a certain brute impact over and above the distaste it may arouse.

Publisher: World