Blueschild Baby takes place during the summer of 1967—the summer of race riots all across the nation; the Summer of Love in the Haight Ashbury; the summer of Marines dying near Con Thien, across the world in Vietnam—but the novel illuminates the contours of a more private hell: the angry desperation of a heroin addict who returns to his home in Harlem after being in prison.
First published in 1970, this frankly autobiographical novel was a revelation, a stunning depiction of a marginal figure, marked literally and figuratively by his drug addiction and navigating a predatory underground of junkies and hustlers—and named George Cain, like his author.
Now with a new preface by acclaimed writer Leslie Jamison, this is an unvarnished conjuring of the tyranny of dependence: its desperation, its degradation, its rage and rebellion; the fragile, unsettled, occasional shards of hope it permits; the strange joys of being alive and young and lost and hooked and full of feverish determination anyway.
That is until she meets handsome and charismatic Khalil Graves, an up-and-coming filmmaker who's desperately trying to escape the demons of his painful childhood. Already engaged, Khalil can't seem to shake his attraction to Honey. What he doesn't realize is that he's a pawn in Honey's plan for revenge.
Honey's attempt at vengeance quickly unravels, complicated by her possible involvement in a murder and a devious plot to score a payday lucrative enough to free her from her unsavory lifestyle.
In A Taste of Honey, Essence bestselling author Darren Coleman delivers another sizzling, drama-filled tale that is sure to take his reputation for delivering page-turners to another level.
A New York Times Notable Book of 2012!
Gathering of Waters is a finalist for a Phillis Wheatley Fiction Book Award!
Gathering of Waters was named a finalist for a 2013 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award!
Gathering of Waters has been selected as a Go On Girl! April 2013 Book Pick.
"McFadden works a kind of miracle--not only do [her characters] retain their appealing humanity; their story eclipses the bonds of history to offer continuous surprises...Beautiful and evocative, Gathering of Waters brings three generations to life...The real power of the narrative lies in the richness and complexity of the characters. While they inhabit these pages they live, and they do so gloriously and messily and magically, so that we are at last sorry to see them go, and we sit with those small moments we had with them and worry over them, enchanted, until they become something like our own memories, dimmed by time, but alive with the ghosts of the past, and burning with spirits."
--Jesmyn Ward, New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice
"Read it aloud. Hire a chorus to chant it to you and anyone else interested in hearing about civil rights and uncivil desires, about the dark heat of hate, about the force of forgiveness."
--Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered, NPR
"McFadden combines events of Biblical proportions--from flooding to resurrection--with history to create a cautionary, redemptive tale that spans the early twentieth century to the start of Hurricane Katrina. She compellingly invites readers to consider the distinctions between 'truth or fantasy'...In McFadden's boldly spun yarn, consequences extend across time and place. This is an arresting historical portrait of Southern life with reimagined outcomes, suggesting that hope in the enduring power of memory can offer healing where justice does not suffice."
"The rich text is shaped by the African American storytelling tradition and layered with significant American histories. Recalling the woven spirituality of Toni Morrison's Beloved, this work will appeal to readers of mystic literature."
"McFadden makes powerful use of imagery in this fantastical novel of ever-flowing waters and troubled spirits."
"In this fierce reimagining, the actual town of Money, MS narrates the story about the ghost of Emmett Till and his from-the-other-side reunification with the girl he loved as a child in Gathering of Waters by Bernice L. McFadden."
Gathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi--a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation. Money is personified in this haunting story, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant families.
Tass Hilson and Emmett Till were young and in love when Emmett was brutally murdered in 1955. Anxious to escape the town, Tass marries Maximillian May and relocates to Detroit.
Forty years later, after the death of her husband, Tass returns to Money and fantasy takes flesh when Emmett Till's spirit is finally released from the dank, dark waters of the Tallahatchie River. The two lovers are reunited, bringing the story to an enchanting and profound conclusion.
Gathering of Waters mines the truth about Money, Mississippi, as well as the town's families, and threads their history over decades. The bare-bones realism--both disturbing and riveting--combined with a magical realm in which ghosts have the final say, is reminiscent of Toni Morrison's Beloved.