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Reviews by ChinatownMel

The Conjure Woman

by Charles W. Chesnutt

This collection of tales is framed with a story of a Yankee setting up a vineyard in North Carolina after the Civil War, and being told several tales of sorcery by an ex-slave, Uncle Julius. The dialect rendering can be annoying but if you can tolerate that, and the 'rational explanation' added to each story, this is quite an interesting little collection. Some are genuinely disturbing, and Sis' Becky's Pickaninny is far more poignantly anti-slavery than Uncle Tom's Cabin managed to be. There's a brief essay about the real folklore of plantation voodoo at the back, too.

Reviewed on 2010.10.27

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Ezekiel Nieto Benzion
Ezekiel Nieto Benzion grew up listening to his grandfather's stories about the Jews. Those stories painted a very different picture from the meek victims in the Holocaust pictures we often get to see. After his grandfather's passing, Benzion realized that he was the last one to know some of those stories and that they needed to be shared with the world. As our author of the day, Benzion chats about his family, about strong, defiant fighters and how he picked and visited the locations in his book.
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