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Madison Smartt BellAnyone handling such material runs the risk of reprising Uncle Tom's Cabin, which, however effective it was as propaganda, has no real claim to the truth of art. McBride's portrayal of the situation is more lucid, better controlled and in the end much more convincing…Edward P. Jones, who may be the first black American to have written about slavery without rancor, has said that his measured portrayal of the slave masters of Virginia in The Known World was like writing about Hitler from Hitler's mother's point of view. In Song Yet Sung, McBride has captured a version of Jones's dispassionate tone, which can deliver the cauterizing power of anger without the corrosive effects of bitterness. That's a radically new way of telling this old story, and it just might turn out to be balm for a wound that has so far stubbornly refused to heal.
—The New York Times