A novel in two acts (the young author is also a playwright) of quite fervent intentions posing the timeless conflict between evil and redemption, guilt and responsibility in a contemporary, rural midwestern setting. Mr. Nilssen tells Iris story, in an itinerant fashion and it deals with a Negro, Jesse Christian, who is the outsider and proverbial scapegoat in a closed community: his barn is burned down; he is blamed for a local tragedy in which he is altogether uninvolved and brutally beaten up; at the close he is killed. Those who bear the stigmata of guilt share in the latterday revelations although the transposition from death to life (vide the title) is more elliptical. On occasion Nilssen's inverted approach is self-defeating: ""But sometimes I don't very much do."" As a novel, not always in command of its neo-experimental approach; as a parable, manifestly sincere.