Soulcatcher and Other Stories

Soulcatcher and Other Stories

by Charles Johnson
     
 

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Twelve stories about the African experience of slavery in America, by the National Book Award-winning novelist.

Nothing has had as profound an effect on American life as slavery. For blacks and whites alike, the experience has left us with a conflicted and contradictory history. Now, famed novelist Charles Johnson, whose Middle Passage won the National Book

Overview

Twelve stories about the African experience of slavery in America, by the National Book Award-winning novelist.

Nothing has had as profound an effect on American life as slavery. For blacks and whites alike, the experience has left us with a conflicted and contradictory history. Now, famed novelist Charles Johnson, whose Middle Passage won the National Book Award, presents a dozen tales of the effects and experience of slavery, each based on historical fact, and each about those Africans who arrived on our shores in shackles. From Martha Washington's management of her slaves, bequeathed to her at the death of the first president, to a boy chained in the bowels of a ship plying the infamous passage from Africa to the South laden with human cargo, from a lynching in Indiana to a hunter of escaped slaves searching the Boston market for his quarry, from an early Quaker meeting exploring resettlement in Africa to the day after Emancipation-the voices, terrors, and savagery of slavery come vividly and unforgettably to life.

These stories, told by a master storyteller, transcend history even as they present it, and retell the mythic proportions of a historical period with astounding realism and beauty, power, and emotion.


Editorial Reviews

A masterful examination of slavery . . . Johnson contributes a new series of powerfully evocative short stories.
New York Times Book Review
Johnson's . . . highly detailed short historical fictions bring to life this most shameful period in our nation's history.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A masterful examination of slavery . . . Johnson contributes a new series of powerfully evocative short stories.
KLIATT
Charles Johnson, award-winning author of the slavery novel Middle Passage, has put together a unique collection of 12 short stories that deal imaginatively with different facets of slave history and experience. The book runs just barely over 100 pages, and each piece is a powerful, subtle miniature. Subjects range from Martha Washington's fear of her slaves after George's death to a hunt for escaped slaves, a lynching and the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation. I can't imagine any high school library or public library not finding this a valuable addition to the collection. KLIATT Codes: SA*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1998, Harcourt, Harvest, 112p. 21cm. 00-053950., $12.00. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Daniel J. Levinson; History & English Teacher, Thayer Acad., Braintree , July 2001 (Vol. 35, No. 4)
Library Journal
This strong collection of 12 short stories from National Book Award winner Johnson (Middle Passages) depicts events in African American history. It serves as a companion to his nonfiction Africans in America (LJ 9/15/98) and supports the PBS series of the same name. The brief stories, which are written in a mix of literary formats, give fascinating glimpses into the impact of historical events on individuals. Among the strongest is "The Transmission," in which two African brothers are transported on a slave ship. Because of the gruesome conditions on board, the older sibling soon approaches death but manages to pass the oral history of the tribe on to his younger brother before he dies. At times, a curious reader could use more background, but the tales generally stand up well as a volume and, in their brevity, may have particular appeal to young adults. Cathleen A. Towey, Port Washington P.L., NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547545226
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/15/2001
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
132
File size:
96 KB

Meet the Author

Charles Johnson, recipient of a 1998 MacArthur Foundation Award, is the author of five works of fiction, including the recently published Dreamer. He has received many honors and awards, including the National Book Award. He is the S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Washington.

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