Seduction by Light

Al Young, Author Delta $7.95 (338p) ISBN 978-0-440-55003-7
Poet and jazz critic Young's fifth novel resembles a Victorian picaresque in its loquaciousness and sense of adventure. Mamie Franklin, once a singer and actress, and now a domestic for a Beverly Hills family, describes, in her own humble and honest voice, the troubles that beset her around the time of the death of her lover Burley Cole. Burglars break into her house, Burley visits her as a ghost and she faints during a major earthquake. But with resilience and faith she survives. A bit of a mystic and philosopher, Mamie keeps her sometimes insightful and always endearing views of America, Hollywood, success and failure and a lot more flowing steadily. While not all the personalities here are as remarkable as Mamie, the novel succeeds on the strength of her wit and humor alone. Young does not flinch from taking her outrageous tale further into the world of the supernatural; however, the fictional Mamie's connections to our real world are so tenacious, and Young so knowledgeable, that his book becomes a compendium of black-American culture as well. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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