Dreamland and

Strivers Row

Kevin Baker, Author . HarperCollins $26.95 (550p) ISBN 978-0-06-019583-0

Played out against the backdrop of Harlem in 1943, this generally engaging, sometimes dense third novel from Baker (following the bestselling Dreamland and Paradise Alley ) reimagines the early days of Malcolm Little—the man who became Malcolm X. As depicted by Baker, the young Malcolm is quick-witted, eager, reckless and impulsive, but also sensitive and possessing a strong sense of justice. These qualities lead to a chance encounter in which he helps Jonah Dove (the Dove family is familiar from Paradise Alley ), a young Harlem minister who is struggling with his own demons as the fair-skinned leader of a black church that has not truly embraced him, despite his being the only son of the church's much-beloved founder; Dove's unfolding story (including his struggles with passing) deepens Malcolm's. The book stays within what's already known about Malcolm X's early adulthood, but Baker covers the territory carefully. He also thoroughly captures the figures (Adam Clayton Powell Jr., West Indian Archie, the Collyer brothers, etc.) and micropolitical climate of wartime Harlem: munitions factories have brought jobs to the struggling community, but low wages, rationing, racial hostilities and an increasing military and police presence makes for possibly explosive combinations. When these tensions do reach the breaking point, Baker lends the resulting fray a visceral reality. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/05/2005
Release date: 02/01/2006
Show other formats
FORMATS
Compact Disc - 978-0-06-087671-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 256 pages - 978-0-06-103047-5
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.