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I Can't Wait on God : A Novel (Inscribed)

French, Albert L.

36 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0385483643 / ISBN 13: 9780385483643
Published by Anchor, New York, NY, U.S.A., 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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Nice 5 line author's inscription. Bookseller Inventory # 12332

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Bibliographic Details

Title: I Can't Wait on God : A Novel (Inscribed)

Publisher: Anchor, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Inscribed By Author

Edition: First Edition/First Printing

About this title


The crowded joys and familiar despair of poor, back-alley life in postwar Pittsburgh have a hold on most people there. Still, there are those who need to escape. Jeremiah Henderson and his woman, Willet Mercer, who keep to themselves and look far too pretty for their own good, have set their sights on New York City. As they learn, however, making good is easier said than done. Left with no choice but to give in to the pimp who'd like to try Willet on for size before selling her to his clientele, Jeremiah and Willet try to focus on the future. But in the last moments before letting the pimp have his way with her, Willet balks, stabbing him to death in the back of his parked Buick. If they are both horrified by what she's done, Jeremiah and Willet are nonetheless now flush with the pimp's fat wad of cash, his heavy rings, and his fancy car. And for a moment, it looks as if their dreams may finally come true. With New York on their minds and Pittsburgh behind them, they drive south to make one last stop outside Wilmington, North Carolina, where Willet intends to see the little boy she long ago abandoned.

Told over the course of five days and nights in the summer of 1950, as the Korean War is brewing, this is a story of crime, punishment, and loss that will never be forgotten. Carried along by the same voice and insight that have earned Albert French so much praise already, I Can't Wait on God is his most beautiful and important book to date.


It's the summer of 1950, on the eve of the Korean War, and Jeremiah Henderson dreams of trading in the slums of Pittsburgh for the high life of New York City. To this end, he proposes a spot of prostitution to his girlfriend, Willet, in order to get enough money to make the break. At the last minute, however, Willet can't go through with it, and her would-be john, a lowlife hustler named Tommy Moses, ends up dead. Albert French's third novel, I Can't Wait on God, is set in the same mean streets often visited by another African American writer, John Edgar Wideman, and it chronicles five days in the lives of the denizens there. While white cops collect clues, the black residents go on about their business, fully aware of who committed the crime but in no hurry to help solve it. Scenes set in the neighborhood and featuring finely drawn characters such as the pushcart vendor Dicky Bird and the street musician Mack Jack are intercut with Jeremiah and Willet's flight from Pittsburgh in Tommy Moses's stolen car. Murder, drug abuse, police brutality, and poverty are the challenges French's characters must face, but in the hardscrabble world he has created, the likelihood that they'll overcome them are slim indeed.

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