Ibo Landing

Ihsan Bracy, Author, Brenda Conner-Bey, Foreword by
Ihsan Bracy, Author, Brenda Conner-Bey, Foreword by Cool Grove Press $22.95 (154p) ISBN 978-1-887276-11-5
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
Family and friendship are Bracy's forte, politics and polemics are not, in this ensemble of 20 short pieces based on the history of his ancestors, half South Carolina Gullahs and half Blue Ridge Virginians. Stories of childhood loom large. In ""proposal,"" a seven-year-old asks his playmate's father for her hand in marriage. In ""warrior seed,"" a loving aunt, concerned that her seven-year-old nephew may be unable to hold his own against youngsters his own age, unwittingly pushes the boy toward violence. The odds are ""fifty/fifty"" for an ailing nine-year-old who discusses the prospect of heart surgery with his best friend while both boys face their mortality for the first time. These pre-coming-of-age tales are among the collection's best; Bracy's heavy-handed stories of the civil rights movement are less successful. Even at his best, Bracy may distance some readers with his lower-case orthography and his preference for the sentimental vignette over narrative complexity. Yet even these readers may feel grateful to Bracy for having tried to preserve his family's speech and stories on the page. Introduction by Brenda Connor-Bey. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
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