HOG BUTCHER by Ronald L. Fair


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Roland Fair's Many Thousand Gone appeared last year, and the sorry facts of life, black and white, black versus white, were brightened by the presence of a wonderful old grandmother. Here two youngsters, Earl and Wilford, redeem for the reader these proceedings which take place in Chicago's Negro ghetto--""concentration camps without barbed wire."" The story, firmer than in the first book, is reducible to one incident; Cornbread, a great basketball player, ten feet tall in the ten year old eyes of Earl and Wilford, is shot down by two police officers, one black, one white, when running out of the local candy store. An altogether unmotivated act. This is followed through the inquests where the old prejudices-- the old pressures-- silence what really happened and it is Wilford, ""one little black boy"" who proves to be ""the only goddam man in the whole place."" Fair is a very nice writer; he handles this with an eloquent economy and certainly these boys will appropriate your sympathy. One could wish that the readership deserved could be more readily designated.

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 1966
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World