THE DAHOMEAN by Frank Yerby


Email this review


Frank Yerby is probably one of the first writers to believe and exploit the fact that black is beautiful. Remember the days when he had all those fantastic studs and beautiful quadroons turning New Orleans upside down in books like Pride's Castle and A Woman Called Fancy? Then he got religion and lost a lot of his audience. Now he's back to basic black and the kind of sumptuous detail that makes critics shudder and a lot of women shiver. This is based on Melville J. Herskovits' 1967 anthropological study: Dahomey: An Ancient West African Kingdom, among others, and with typical Yerby flair and a lot of cribbed Dahomean words -- ""A man can be executed for merely pinching an ahosi's behind, Alogba"" -- he carries on with an infinite variety of questionable rituals. The novel features a superhuman protagonist named Nyasanu, meaning ""man among men"" although it should really mean ""man among women"" since Nyasanu ends up with more wives than he can handle and is eventually betrayed and shipped off to America as a slave. And you know? You'd kind of like to see Nyasanu in the fleshpots of New Orleans. At that you probably will.

Pub Date: July 23rd, 1971
Publisher: Dial