Title: The Chosen Place, The Timeless People
Publisher: Harcourt Brace & World
Publication Date: 1969
Book Condition: Very Good.No Dustjacket
Edition: 1st Edition.
New York. 1969. Harcourt Brace & World. 1st American Edition. Very Good.No Dustjacket. 472 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Wendell Minor. keywords: Literature Black America Women. inventory # 31762. FROM THE PUBLISHER - ‘Paule Marshall’s THE CHOSEN PLACE, THE TIMELESS PEOPLE. lives up to - meets, surpasses - the expectations she generated with SOUL CLAP HANDS AND SING. It is a good book. I accepted everything as right and true.’ - Saunders Redding. The chosen place of Paule Marshall’s powerful new novel is Bournehills, a near-wasteland of eroded hills at the remote end of a West Indian island. It is a place that stubbornly refuses to forgo its past, the long wounding history of slavery that has shaped it. The timeless people of her title are its inhabitants - black, poor and as mysteriously committed to that past era as the place. Into this world that seems scarcely real at times comes the advance team for a large American research development project - the director, who is a Jew, his Main Line Philadelphia wife and his young assistant. The impact upon them of Bournehills and its people is profound. Moreover, in the complex relationships that evolve between stranger and native, and especially between the visitors and the black woman, Merle Kinbona, who stands at the center of the story, is reflected the larger confrontation of black and white, haves and have-nots, that is taking place in the world today. The microcosm of Bournehills extends by implication to the struggle of the oppressed everywhere, and the prevailing vision of the book is of the world of darker peoples that is to come. At its deepest level, this is an intensely political novel of great strength, thoughtfulness and anger. But it is anger firmly rooted in art. The author’s foremost concern remains the human condition, the individual heart. This, together with her remarkable gift for characterization, her sense of place, and the spectacularly vivid scenes of ritual and encounter that move the novel toward its inevitable climax, makes for an immensely exciting book. Finally, what Paule Marshall has to say about the nature of power and human struggle and the suicidal bent of the present technological age is of the utmost importance to us today. This is a major novel by a major American novelist, a massive statement for our times. Bookseller Inventory # 31762
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