Po Man's Child: A Novel

Overview

After sustaining a serious injury during an S/M scene with her lover, Po Childs checks herself into a psychiatric hospital for a 72-hour rest. While there, Po vividly recounts her life's most memorable incidents, populated by unforgettable relatives like imperishable Uncle Ray, cigar-smoking Aunt Florida, sister Onya with her unquenchable thirst, and brother Bobby of the Ministers of Allah. After a poignant exploration of her family's curses and blessings, Po perceives the nature of personal empowerment and ...
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Overview

After sustaining a serious injury during an S/M scene with her lover, Po Childs checks herself into a psychiatric hospital for a 72-hour rest. While there, Po vividly recounts her life's most memorable incidents, populated by unforgettable relatives like imperishable Uncle Ray, cigar-smoking Aunt Florida, sister Onya with her unquenchable thirst, and brother Bobby of the Ministers of Allah. After a poignant exploration of her family's curses and blessings, Po perceives the nature of personal empowerment and allows the healing process to begin.
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Editorial Reviews

BUST Magazine
Like a comtemporary Anne Tyler, Blackman writes of a family where every member comes with an ample set of peculiarities, but still at the end you are left with the feeling that you know these people, that they could be your own family.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A vivid assortment of characters inhabit Blackman's first novel, a haunting, dark and visceral story of family entanglements, failure and survival. When she was young, Po Childs numbed herself emotionally to such a degree that she could only feel when she sank the blade of a knife into her skin. Now 27, she is still grappling with the knife. When S&M play with her lover, Mary, goes awry, Po checks herself into a mental hospital for 72 hours of "observation and rest." Here she recollects her family history. Her father, Gregory Childs, a once aspiring jazz musician, wins his store, the Party Shack, on a poker hand, only to quietly gamble his business away. Her mother, Lillian, regretfully gives up her dreams of college and career to raise Po, sister Onya, and brother Bobby. When Gregory has an affair with his brother's (white) wife, Jessica, everyone becomes unhinged. Ray, the cuckolded husband, repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempts suicide, and Lillian succumbs first to alcohol, then prescription drugs. Onya has a nervous breakdown, while Bobby escapes first into the arms of his imaginary playmates, then into the abyss of heroin addiction, and finally into the family of the Ministers of Allah. Bobby visits Po at the hospital, with resisting Onya in tow, determined to convince Po to attend their father's funeral. Although the plot is unnecessarily convoluted, Blackman's tale of a family's bleak and twisted history strikingly illustrates the way even a wounded heart will expand to accommodate the many kinds of love (both nurturing and frightening) it craves. Author tour. (June) FYI: Blackman edited Manic D's anthology Beyond Definition: New Writing from Gay and Lesbian San Francisco, an ALA Gay and Lesbian Book Award Finalist. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780916397593
  • Publisher: Manic D Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2003

    A Tough One To Follow

    I was convinced by the reviews that this was one to grab, but I ended up confused and frustrated. The narrative is difficult to follow, the language is poetic but often times filled with metaphors that do not work. I gave up three times on this one and then forced myself to read it the fourth... since I'd spent my hard earned money on it. Unless you are familiar with the author you may not want to venture on this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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