CHANGES by Richard Perry


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A black liberal arts instructor at a small upper-New York state college becomes increasingly disenchanted with the bland NAACP niceties, re-channeling his frustrated energies into barroom fights with racists, fantasies about a white student tease named Sharon, discussions with a dying black professor, and freeing a black mental patient named Bukay who's been incarcerated since the end of World War II. But his halfhearted activism guiltily falters when this group of seemingly unrelated acquaintances kidnaps his family and announces they are going to use him to implement Bukay's plan for world change -- an extremely contagious viral injection that will turn white skin to black. This is only fair since Bukay, the Immortal One, apparently created white folk (and red and brown and yellow) on a mistaken whim approximately six thousand years ago. Unfortunately, the plan has a few flaws: namely, that only children under five and those with some black blood (luckily 40% Americans) will survive, and also that the world turns out not to be so different from the crummy one we've had all along. This is an interesting idea of a rather mediocre novel (particularly the way in which it is written) of the sociological sci-fi category -- presumably the incarnation of every white man's nightmare.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1974
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill