Time's Memoryby Julius Lester
Amma is the creator god, the master of life and death, and he is worried. His people have always known how to take care of the spirits of the dead – the nyama – so that they don't become destructive forces among the living. But amid the chaos of the African slave trade and the brutality of American slavery, too many of his people are dying and/i>
Amma is the creator god, the master of life and death, and he is worried. His people have always known how to take care of the spirits of the dead – the nyama – so that they don't become destructive forces among the living. But amid the chaos of the African slave trade and the brutality of American slavery, too many of his people are dying and their souls are being ignored in this new land. Amma sends a young man, Ekundayo, to a plantation in Virginia where he becomes a slave on the eve of the Civil War. Amma hopes that Ekundayo will be able to find a way to bring peace to the nyama before it is too late. But Ekundayo can see only sorrow in this land – sorrow in the ownership of people, in the slaves who have been separated from their children and spouses, in the restless spirits of the dead, and in his own forbidden relationship with his master's daughter.
How Ekundayo finds a way to bring peace to both the dead and the living makes this an unforgettable journey into the slave experience and Julius Lester's most powerful work to date.
Time's Memory is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
- Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- First Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)
- Age Range:
- 14 - 18 Years
Read an Excerpt
From Time’s Memory
I lay within the body of the woman who was called Amina
and I listened to the silences between the beats of hearts that
beat no more and the wind in breaths that no longer breathed.
I saw with eyes that were only sockets in skulls. Though I was
no larger than the twinkle of a star, I already knew that lives
did not consist only of what happened during one’s brief span of
years. No. Each person is the sum of the generations that went
before, generations of people whose names have been forgotten,
whose faces have sunk below where memory can go. Yet those
generations live within everyone, pulsating with each heartbeat
and each breath.
I listened to the blood roaring through her body, and within the
cacophony I found the memories of her brief sixteen years, the
memories of her mother and father, their mother and father,
and their mother and father, and on back to unnumbered time
when no one counted the risings and settings of the sun and
there were no months or years but only Time as broad and
without end as the universe.
But as intently as I listened, as arduously as I searched, I could
not find the reason why I had been conceived. Neither did her
blood tell me where we were being taken nor what I was to do
when I got there.
When Amma, the creator god and master of life and death,
had Amina’s father place me inside the woman, he told me my
name was Ekundayo, Sorrow Becomes Joy. Surroundedby
sorrow deeper than any sea and wider than any sky, I thought
I had been misnamed.
Meet the Author
JULIUS LESTER has written more than forty books of fiction,
nonfiction, and poetry for children and adults. He lives in
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