JONOAH AND THE GREEN STONE by Henry Dumas

JONOAH AND THE GREEN STONE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Depending on your view of the situation of blacks in white-owned America, it's either ironical, outrageous or just inevitable that Henry Dumas was accidentally shot to death by a policeman before any of his writing was published. A book of short stories, Ark of Bones, and a collection of his poetry, Play Ebony Play Ivory, appeared posthumously in 1974. Jonoah and the Green Stone is an early draft--reconstructed by the editor--for two sections of a three-part symbolical allegory of the Afro-American people's struggle. Part One, ""Children of the Flood,"" relates the childhood of Jonoah (John/Noah/Jonah) who loses his parents and finds a new family in an apocalyptic flood of the Mississippi. Part Two, ""People of Darkness,"" concerns the mature Jonoah's search for his identity as a black man in and out of the civil rights movement. It centers on a narrow escape from white hunters and his feverish ""vision"" while hiding from them in the river. There are many rough spots and unanswered questions but even as fragments these scenes are affecting, and the mythical nature of the work allows you to project much of the author's intentions. A special talent, curtailed.

Pub Date: May 11th, 1976
Publisher: Random House