Thursday, May 26, 2011
Trouble Down South and Other Stories by Katrina Parker Williams
Enslavement, murder, abuse, illness: there’s real trouble for the characters in Trouble Down South and Other Stories. The short stories take the reader on a journey to the past through a collection of interestingly crafted pieces of flawed humanness, social injustice, and redemption, and even humor. The collection of historical fiction chronicles events spanning more than 150 years and addresses a wide range of experiences from African-American perspectives. The stories are set in the South amid a changing landscape in which the characters are forced to wrestle with the social issues surrounding Native Americans, slavery, racism, Prohibition, World War I, the Korean War, Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, health, religion, mental illness, and education.
I received a copy of this book through the author herself.
This was a wonderfully, rich book. I loved the ambience, all the Southern mojo in its pages. It really brought the feeling of the deep South, wrapping it around me as I read.
The stories themselves are amusing. They are little snippets of people’s lives throughout many time periods, which makes it very interesting to see the changes in the treatment of African Americans through the years. The one that stuck with me the longest was the one called “Slave Auction”. The feeling of loneliness and abandonment when the little boy is separated, sold off, from his mother is incredible, to the point of making you want to put the book down. It’s very strong, and what makes it even worse is that these kinds of atrocities really happened.
The writing is smooth and easy, making it a breeze to read the stories in pretty quick fashion. The cast of characters is varied and original, the plots amusing and self-contained.
I can easily recommend this book to pretty much anyone. Loved it.