Crossover

Dennis A. Williams, Author Summit Books $20.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-72640-9
Richard Isaac of Onondaga, N Y., is searching for his identity as a black man in the 1960s and '70s in this dynamic debut novel. He is one of the first generation of blacks accepted at an ivy league college, where he finds he is resented by other black students both for his intellect and for his white girlfriend, Cheryl. To appease them, Richard joins in a campus takeover, but soon after he loses Cheryl because he refuses to tell his mother about their relationship. Although raised by his loving mother and doting great-uncle, Hodge, Richard longs for the father--an itinerant railroad worker--who abandoned him when he was a small child. His quest for the elder Isaac leads him through the ghettos of Manhattan, into a loveless affair and results in an even more diminished sense of worth. Finally Hodge's need for him--both real and symbolic--leads Richard to confront his future at the corporate law firm in which he is a token, and sets him on the road to self-realization. With scathing realism and taut, visceral prose, Williams delineates the rites of passage to black manhood. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
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