BT-Be-Bop, Re-Bop

Xam Wilson Cartier, Author Ballantine Books $4.95 (147p) ISBN 978-0-345-34833-3
The scatstet syntax and jive jargon used by Cartier make this novel an exhilarating and rhythmic rap. It's an up-tempo tale of a black family, a dance through the decades with jazz fan Double and his daughter, who narrates while Miles and Trane wail in the background: ""That's what be-bop isthe threat of black music turnin back outsider-black, leavin white wallflowers all over the place, tryin to jive to a beat that blows their souls outa socket.'' Double's daughter recalls her father's ``exploits and life explorations,'' remembers incidents of racism and is ``subjected to passing-flash memory of still-married me.'' Then the scene shifts as the narrator and her young daughter trade life in ``menopausal Saint Lou'' for a ``fill-in-blank future'' in the ``San Fran of my now.'' Cartier riffs on ``abracadabra afternoons'' and ``militant memories'' and runs through the scales of post-Kerouac bop prosody. The result is finger-popping fiction, an authentic American blues in the night from a gifted and talented writer. (September)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 150 pages - 978-0-345-36764-8
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