This is a remarkable collection in which Paul Hastings Wilson, author of The Ishango Bone, In the Wilderness of Zin, Hunger's Season and Turning Islands, employs an impressive ear for dialogue, acuity of observation and uncanny psychological insight to take the reader on a journey that stretches from North Africa to New York to New Orleans. The range of stories plumbs some of the most harrowing, bizarre and resonant byways of the human experience, including questions of justice and morality in the aftermath of a bloody revolution in North Africa, a poignant murder mystery in the heart of the New York literary scene, and the outrageous adventures of a Southern Louisiana jazz band faced with a brutal incident of racial violence. We find ourselves immersed in spiritual quests, trials by fire, ribald digressions and detours into moral quagmires where consciousness is driven to the edge of an abyss.
The poems included exhibit the same compelling lyric power that animates the prose. Symbol and meaning are distilled from everyday details made numinous by deft allusion, economy of language and vivid imagery that is often strange and haunting as though wrenched whole from the deepest recesses of dream.