ARK OF BONES And Other Stories by Henry Dumas

ARK OF BONES And Other Stories

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A collection of stories and edited fragments by a young black writer ""mistakenly"" assassinated by a N.Y. cop. Unfortunately there is something both elusive and hurried about all but the best of them, as if the writer's impatience was based on prophecy -- which, in the light of a number of tales about mojo bones, mystical arks, echo trees (which turn blacks into ""binos"") and afro horns (the sound of which strikes Whitey dead), seems entirely possible: ""Burn, baby, bum. We move out. Strikin. All feet. All soul. We the VC. You got to be. You got to be."" The major areas of black experience (music, religion, voodoo, the climb out of the ghetto or cotton field) are dealt with, sometimes parochially or obscurely. But the most compelling stories are those that show the interaction of black with white -- as in confrontations between a rural southern boy and the sophisticated voter registration folk, or the stories of would-be lynchers on whom the tables are suddenly turned. The richness of dialogue and energy help compensate for the rushed quality of much of the narrative.

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1974
Publisher: Random House