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The Healing

Jones, Gayl

150 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0807063142 / ISBN 13: 9780807063149
Published by Beacon Press, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

First printing. Black cloth spine, black boards, gilt titles. Her first novel in over 20 years. Unread, as new in like DJ. 283 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 2725

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Healing

Publisher: Beacon Press, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

Book Type: Book

About this title

Synopsis:

Harlan Jane Eagleton is a faith healer, traveling by bus to small towns, converting skeptics, restoring minds and bodies. But before that she was a minor rock star's manager, and before that a beautician. She's had a fling with her rock star's ex-husband and an Afro-German horse dealer; along the way she's somehow lost her own husband, a medical anthropologist now traveling with a medicine woman in Africa. Harlan tells her story from the end backwards, drawing us constantly deeper into her world and the mystery at the heart of her tale - the story of her first healing.
The Healing is a lyrical and at times humorous exploration of the struggle to let go of pain, anger, and even love. Slipping seamlessly back through Harlan's memories in a language rich with the textured cadences of the black Southerner, Gayl Jones weaves her story to its dramatic - and unexpected - beginning.

Review:

Beautician, anthropologist's wife, rock-star manager, racetrack gambler, and now itinerant faith healer: the heroine of Gayl Jones long-awaited new novel has traveled a long and difficult road from her grandmother's Louisville beauty shop to the bus stops and "tank towns" of the rural South. As she spools back through her accumulated memories, Harlan Jane Eagleton weaves a complex stream-of-consciousness tale that at second glance turns out not to be chaotic at all. Jones has an unerring ear for dialogue and the rhythms of everyday speech, and Eagleton makes poetry out of even the detritus of pop culture--although her narrative is also rich in allusions from Chaucer to Gayl Jones herself. From Eagleton's grandmother, who believes she was born as a turtle, to the paranoid German-African businessman who becomes Eagleton's lover, the novel is filled with memorable characters and multilayered relationships. The Healing is the first book in more than 20 years from Jones, the reclusive author of two seminal narratives of violence, slavery, abuse, and black rage, Corregidora and Eva's Man. Like these two novels, The Healing has its fair share of violence and tragedy, but--as the title might suggest--here it's tempered with a surprising portion of humor, forgiveness, even faith.

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