Covenant: Faces, Voices, Places

Will D. Campbell, Author, Al Clayton, Illustrator, Al Clayton, Photographer Peachtree Publishers $27.5 (161p) ISBN 978-0-934601-83-2
have fixed; thanks for checking This striking volume evokes the world of the South in photos and text. Award-winning photographer Clayton's (Still Hungry in America) black-and-white photos, taken between 1963 and 1989, inspired the monologues by Campbell ( author of the highly praised Forty Acres and a Goat and Brother to a Dragonfly) , in which fictional, archetypal Southerners speak about their lives. Together they convey the diversity, tensions, confusions, moral ambiguities, terrors, humor and indomitable spirit of the region. Among the soliloquies: a devout, longsuffering black maid, nurturer of her sharp-tongued mistress's children, reflects on a life of service; though proud of his son's involvement in the ``Move-ment,'' a black man is confused about his own identification (``from nigger to African-American'') in a changing world. A white supremacist talks to an imaginary reporter about his younger son's arrest for a KKK murder of a ``communist'' and reveals the pain of the loss of his older boy in Vietnam; a woman burdened by poverty and five children muses: ``My life has been one long line of troubles. Work. Get sick. Go on welfare.'' Campbell captures the textures and rhythms of Southern speech, differentiating and authenticating the voices of his composite characters, while Clayton's powerful pictures invest his subjects with dignity and invite compassion. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
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