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The Marrow Of Tradition
by Charles Waddell Chesnutt
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From Library Journal
Based upon the Wilmington, NC, race riot of 1898 and written in 1901, this historical novel makes a plea for racial justice. A group of powerful white men continue to run the fictional town of Wellington and their households as though the Civil War had never occurred. Complicating matters even further, Olivia Carteret, wife of the white newspaper editor, discovers she and Janet Miller, wife of the town's black doctor, have the same father. As the town's residents battle their way through the social and racial issues resulting from the war, Olivia and Janet work their way through racial, social, and family issues. Michael Collins provides an excellent reading with his well-paced and expressive delivery combined with a wide range of male and female voices and accents. Professionally produced, this classic tale is recommended for all public, academic, and school libraries. Laurie Selwyn, Law Lib., Grayson Cty., Sherman, TX
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Chesnutt, one of the most important African-American writers of the nineteenth century, tells a complex tale of race, injustice, and passion. His style is elaborate; Chesnutt sometimes writes in the formal cadences of the Victorian novel and sometimes in a range of heavy Southern dialects. However, Michael Collins masters all dialects and makes characters as disparate as white trash Captain McBain and Jane, the aged black servant, live with equal facility. A few sound effects, such as period music and crowd sounds during the riot at the book's climax, contribute to give the impression that Collins is performing the book rather than simply reading it. G.T.B. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
Library Bookwatch & Internet Bookwatch, May, 2002
[A] compelling, engaging story of characters and events that grips the listener's total attention from beginning to end.
Elected black and white fusion party office holders run the fictional City of Wellington in this classic American novel set in the South at the end of Reconstruction in 1898. Bent upon restoring the traditional social order, a cabal of white racists engineer a race riot to drive the fusionists from office and restrict the "nigger" vote. Using the Wilmington, N.C. race riot of 1898 and the events leading up to it as his model, Chesnutt artfully explores the tangled skeins of motives propelling all his characters. Interesting and complex subplots abound, peopled by colorful characters of both races subjected to unmanageable colliding emotions that are energized by race, love, greed, shame, and unquenchable thirsts for power.
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