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Wraiths and apparitions wander the fields and backwoods and cabin communities of the South Carolina Lowcountry swampland that are the setting for J. Douglas Allen-Taylor's lyrical and literary first novel, Sugaree Rising. In a story written in the tradition of the great chroniclers of rural African-American Southern life-Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Jean Toomer-the independence and elder culture of the isolated Yay'saw of Yelesaw Neck is threatened by a plan to dam the nearby Sugaree River and flood them out. The underlying threat of danger and violence that is an ever-present factor in Southern life runs through the novel like a deep-flowing current. But this is no predictable tale, and Allen-Taylor, a master storyteller with a unique style and view, takes the reader down unexpected pathways. Interwoven with the story of Yally Kinlaw, a young woman seeking out the spirit-legacy to which she is heir, are original poems and songs and folktales that recreate the musical, mystical, mythic world in which the African-American people were created, but which now has been all-but forgotten to history.
Freedom Voices Publications, 9780915117215, 389pp.
Publication Date: December 1, 2012