A Visitation of Spirits: A Novel

( 1 )

Overview

"Marks the debut of a very gifted writer.... Kenan speaks eloquently and with a great deal of courage."--Gloria Naylor

Randall Kenan's daring and innovative first novel weaves a vivid and horrific tale through the generations of a black Southern family.

Sixteen-year old Horace Cross is plagued by issues that hover in his impressionable spirit and take shape in his mind as loathsome demons, culminating in one night of horrible and tragic transformation. In the face of Horace's ...

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Overview

"Marks the debut of a very gifted writer.... Kenan speaks eloquently and with a great deal of courage."--Gloria Naylor

Randall Kenan's daring and innovative first novel weaves a vivid and horrific tale through the generations of a black Southern family.

Sixteen-year old Horace Cross is plagued by issues that hover in his impressionable spirit and take shape in his mind as loathsome demons, culminating in one night of horrible and tragic transformation. In the face of Horace's fate, his cousin Reverend James "Jimmy" Green questions the values of a community that nourishes a boy, places their hopes for salvation on him, only to deny him his destiny.

Told in a montage of voices and memories, A Visitation of the Spirits just how richly populated a family's present is with the spirits of the past and the future.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Randall Kenan continues [James] Baldwin's legendary tradition of 'telling it on the mountain' by giving voice to the unvarnished truth about blacks and homosexuality." --San Francisco Chronicle

"A gifted, confident writer." --The Raleigh News & Observer

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Four generations of a black North Carolina family emerge in a novel that tracks a teenager's coming to terms with his identity. ``Although shifts in time and tone are often jarring and sometimes gratuitous, the strength and richness of Kenan's best passages sweep any objections aside,'' wrote PW. Oct.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375703973
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Series: Vintage Contemporaries Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 786,949
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Mr. Kenan lives in Memphis, Tennessee.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A troubled young man and an ineffective preacher

    This book is so-so. It's chock full of magical realism that is in some parts very effective and in others a strange waste of time. Kenan does a good job writing most parts of this book and there are some scenes and descriptions that will astound the reader in their graphic portrayal.

    The story is about a young black teenager who struggles with his homosexuality. When he turns to his cousin who is also his preacher for help, he is left to fend for himself. The boy literally confronts his demons that have afflicted him from society, in church, and within his own family. The preacher also fills a good portion of the novel as he tries to become more effective and assertive instead of being a laissez-faire, please everybody type of guy.

    To be honest, the teenager is better developed than the preacher, and the other characters are mainly peripheral, which is why I didn't rate character development very high.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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