Saturday, April 9, 2016
The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter by Kia Corthron
I love stumbling across titles with unique and interesting premises, and this one definitely fits the bill. I often find family sagas that feature and follow women through the generations, but this one follows four men which is a very nice distinction. The BIG negative for this one though? The ebook price is crazy high! I will NEVAH pay $22.99 for an ebook-NEVAAAAAAHHHH! You can actually buy a new physical copy from an Amazon vendor for only $12 and pay only $3.99 s&h, which still adds up to a cheaper price than the ebook. Somebody's smoking something over in the department who fixed the price on this one. Just saying...
The hotly anticipated first novel by lauded playwright and The Wire TV writer Kia Corthron, The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter sweeps American history from 1941 to the twenty-first century through the lives of four men--two white brothers from rural Alabama, and two black brothers from small-town Maryland--whose journey culminates in an explosive and devastating encounter between the two families.
On the eve of America's entry into World War II, in a tiny Alabama town, two brothers come of age in the shadow of the local chapter of the Klan, where Randall--a brilliant eighth-grader and the son of a sawmill worker--begins teaching sign language to his eighteen-year-old deaf and uneducated brother B.J. Simultaneously, in small-town Maryland, the sons of a Pullman Porter--gifted six-year-old Eliot and his artistic twelve-year-old brother Dwight--grow up navigating a world expanded both by a visit from civil and labor rights activist A. Philip Randolph and by the legacy of a lynched great-aunt.
The four mature into men, directly confronting the fierce resistance to the early civil rights movement, and are all ultimately uprooted. Corthron's ear for dialogue, honed from years of theater work, brings to life all the major concerns and movements of America's past century through the organic growth of her marginalized characters, and embraces a quiet beauty in their everyday existences.
Sharing a cultural and literary heritage with the work of Toni Morrison, Alex Haley, and Edward P. Jones, Kia Corthron's The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter is a monumental epic deftly bridging the political and the poetic, and wrought by one of America's most recently recognized treasures.