Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trouble Down South and Other Stories - Review

Katrina Parker Williams weaves storytelling into many of the significant events throughout American history and she does a great job demonstrating the impact that those events on the blacks living throughout the South.

Trouble Down South and Other Stories contains twelve short stories, and each addresses a different historical event or human condition. Readers cannot help but feel sympathetic to the treatment that blacks throughout Southern history have endured, but there is also a sense of pride to be taken from this collection in just how far our country has come over the last two centuries.

From the collection, I most enjoyed "Slave Auction" a companion story to "Missus Buck" which takes readers through a slave auction where Horatio and his mother are sold to different masters. It is a degrading, humiliating, and heartbreaking experience and Williams does a fantastic job taking readers right up to the auction block where they experience the emotions of those experiencing it.

I most identified with "Ms. Pimmelly's City" where the main voice describes the city in which she lives, and the multitudes of different people all who inhabit that city. The story ends with "I grew up in this town. Well, rather in one of the townships of Wilson. Elm City. I know these people. I understand these people. They are me. Who am I? I am Ms. Pimmelly. A teacher to these people."

Katrina Parker Williams does know the people she writes about, and she does a fantastic job relating them to the reader. And her delivery is not bitter, but driven by a need to educate those of us who did not experience these injustices and make sure we never repeat them.

Kudos to Ms. Parker, and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

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