By Cynthia Voigt
Mina Smiths, whom many readers will take into account from Dicey's tune (Atheneum, 1982), takes heart degree during this addition to the Tillerman saga and holds it with strength and spirit. the tale takes her from age 10 to fifteen, following her from a younger dancer, jam-packed with herself and her targets, to a smart and reasonable younger lady. the major to her development is Tamer Shipp, a tender pastor who drives her domestic from the station as soon as she leaves the dance camp from which she has been brushed off, might be simply because puberty has harmed her abilities, might be simply because she is black. while Tamer's honesty and figuring out aid her during the first soreness, she starts to like him, forming a dating so as to be principal to her perceptions of the area round her for the consequent 3 summers. there's little plot the following, however the tale strikes good, with the topic, Mina's altering view of the area and her position in it as a tender black lady, sporting it in a wealthy present. The occasions are noticeable via Mina's eyes, as are the characters who, still, emerge with powerful identities in their personal. within the final 3rd of the booklet, the Tillermans come into concentration as Mina learns approximately Bullet (The Runner Atheneum, 1985) from Tamer, who enjoyed and hated him. it really is her dating with the Tillermans and with Tamer which brings the tale to its climax, as Mina reveals how to entire the circle, bringing a degree of peace to all. Voigt tells her tale easily, getting within Mina's perceptions simply and believably. To capture the resonance of the tale, it might be important to have learn the sooner books in regards to the Tillermans, even if, aside from minor lapses in personality description and incident, this does stand good by itself.
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Extra info for Come a Stranger (The Tillerman Cycle, Book 5)
Foremost a writer. Above all a writer. It was my salvation, and is. The world can deny me as an ex-convict, as a nigger, as a disagreeable and unpleasant person. But as long as I write, whether it is published or not, I’m a writer, and no one can take that away. ‘A fighter fights, a writer writes,’ so I must have done my writing. (p. 35 This embattled contrariety of blackness and word continues in My Life of Absurdity: the moves back and forth across Europe and America; the edgy literary friendships in Paris and elsewhere with Richard Wright, a white 1920s veteran like Carl Van Vechten, the Caribbean born George Lamming, Europeans like Jean Giono and Marcel Duhamel, African Americans from Malcolm X to John A.
What had his true name been? Whatever it was, it was as Douglass that he became himself, defined himself. And not as a boatwright as he’d expected, but as an orator. Perhaps the sense of magic lay in the unexpected transformations. ‘You start Saul, and end up Paul,’ my grandfather had often said. ’5 Nor is the impact of Douglass, and his acquisition of the written word, lost on a contemporary like Darryl Pinckney in his High Cotton (1992). The narrator invokes his grandfather seated at a New York Upper East Side library reading about Douglass: He said that what fascinated him most about the ‘back years’ was the story of how young Frederick Douglass, driven by the sound of his master reading from the Book of Job, stole a primer and copied the letters on pieces of pine plank ...
Who ordained these rules of miscegenation and racial genetics? When is white black, black white, and where, implies Douglass, does that leave him? In the Edward Covey fight, ‘the turning point in my career as a slave’, Douglass achieves far more than some local set-to with his overseer. The pugilism possesses the prose itself, each feint, grip, release or hit taken into and made the very rhythm of the telling. In this, too, Douglass anticipates a later history of black–white pugilism through names like Jack Johnson, Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali in which white oppression, whiteness as the historic code of ownership, albeit for the moment, is fought into dispossession and defeat.