In the Hollow of His Hand

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( 12 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780720606959: In the Hollow of His Hand

A powerful novel by James Purdy set in the 1920s Midwest. Purdy explores the eruption of a scandal in a tight-knit community, when a Native American claims the parentage of a white couple’s son.

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From Publishers Weekly:

The Ojibwa Indian, Decatur, returns from World War I to the small Midwestern town of Yellow Brook where he sees the youth Chad Coultas and suddenly understands the boy is his son. The conflicting claims of Decatur and those of his legal father, Lewis, send Chad on a coming-of-age journey that takes him from the high life in 1920s Chicago to the Canadian wilds, initiating him into sex, drugs and the complications of filial love. Purdy (In a Shallow Grave tells a highly charged gothic tale, using larger-than-life characters of grand gesture and eloquence to express universal themes. Unfortunately, Chad's adventures read haltingly, as though they'd been composed sentence by sentence with long periods of time in between, a quality that seriously diminishes the tale's narrative drive, as well as the reader's enjoyment.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Purdy's characters inhabit an extravagant world in which lakes "savagely churn" and a dying man's lips are "curtains of blood." Set in the larger-than-life 1920s, his rollicking story is equal to the purple prose: Chad, the illegitimate offspring of an Ojibwa Indian and a society matron, is successively abducted by his natural and legal fathers, all as a prelude to a succession of even more preposterous episodes as the boy escapes across the North Central states. Purdy, as often before, favors a lamb-among-wolves as his hero; Chad's story is but a frame for the wry portrait of moral hypocrisy that is always at the heart of his books. Highly recommended. Rob Schmieder, Boston
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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