CISSIE by John A. Williams


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Close is character to the preceding Night Song, this novel touches on many of the exposed, painful areas in the Negro's attempt to live in a white man's world. In an alternating (time and character) narrative, it fills in the past to the present when all her life, lies dying in California, now for the first time asking forgiveness from her two surviving children: Iris, whom she had used to humiliate her husband by that she was not his child; Ralph, whom she had tried to toughen through anger rather than love. And although both had eventually gone their own way, Iris making it on the continent as a jazz singer, Ralph finally writing a very good play, it is still Sissle who and diminishes them-while, on the other hand, they have found that their has stigmatized them (""like a white folks' nigger"")... It is all very much alive. And it states its lual theme of family dissolution and racial exclusion through a flickering montage of occasional encounters and episodes. This is perhaps a technique with more immediate than lasting effects.

Pub Date: Jan. 24th, 1962
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy