"A vivid, disturbing work of the historical imagination." (New York Times)
By Wesley Brown
Inscribed first printing of Brown's second novel, exploring the collision of of art, racism, and violence in 19th-century minstrel performance.
"When you dance ain't nobody got a claim on you. Ain't that what you told that white man, Rice? That there was things in you he couldn't have, even if you wanted to give em to him."
A work of historical fiction by the author of TRAGIC MAGIC, beginning in pre-Civil War Kentucky and following a Black dancer and minstrel show performer through the fraught and dangerous American landscape of the 1860s. Brown offered illuminating commentary on his second novel in a recent interview: "It could be argued that blackface minstrelsy represented much of the popular culture of the 19th century...When Black performers used burnt cork in minstrel shows, it was often a mimicry of White actors using demeaning stereotypes to depict Black people. They implicitly mocked those very stereotypes. The reprehensible 19th century image of blackface was embedded in the ways African Americans were represented throughout the 20th century. The disturbing minstrel mask is the past that still stalks the present."
Read more: Imran Khan, "A Music of Words: Interview with Author Wesley Brown".
New York: Cane Hill Press, (1994). 8.5'' x 5.5''. Original pictorial wrappers. 224 pages. Inscribed by Brown on title page: "For Kay, With many thanks for your interest. Wesley / 1/26/94". Minor edgewear, with a few small creases to wrappers.
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