Night Hawks

Charles Johnson. Scribner, $24 (192p) ISBN 978-1-5011-8438-3
These striking stories from National Book Award–winner Johnson (Middle Passage) span a wide range of time periods and cultures but are woven together with a subtle thread of compassion. In “The Weave,” Ieesha and Tyrone pull a heist at a salon, stealing bags of human hair, artfully shedding light on the pain of feeling one’s hair is “never beautiful as it is” when one is not part of the dominant culture. Back in the time of Plato, the philosopher himself clashes with the cynics, who push him to question his very core, in “The Cynics.” In “Occupying Arthur Whitford,” a poor young black cab driver in Seattle attempts to rob a rich older white customer who was rude to him, but is shaken by what he finds in the man’s house. Elsewhere in Seattle, a University of Washington student makes money by participating in dubious medical studies and experiences a “body swap” with a Rottweiler in “Guinea Pig.” In the dystopian future of “4189,” death is forbidden, and a sex doll in disguise as a real woman leads a man toward a joint suicide. These inventive stories feature characters that experience darkness and display the complexity of the human soul, resulting in a provocative and sensitive collection. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/18/2018
Release date: 07/10/2018
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-1-5011-8439-0
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