"Marks the debut of a very gifted writer.... Kenan speaks eloquently and with a great deal of courage."Gloria Naylor
Randall Kenan's daring and innovative first novel weaves a vivid and horrific tale through the generations of a black Southern family.
Sixteen-year old Horace Cross is plagued by issues that hover in his impressionable spirit and take shape in his mind as loathsome demons, culminating in one night of horrible and tragic transformation. In the face of Horace's fate, his cousin Reverend James "Jimmy" Green questions the values of a community that nourishes a boy, places their hopes for salvation on him, only to deny him his destiny.
Told in a montage of voices and memories, A Visitation of the Spirits just how richly populated a family's present is with the spirits of the past and the future.
Four generations of a black North Carolina family emerge in a novel that tracks a teenager's coming to terms with his identity. ``Although shifts in time and tone are often jarring and sometimes gratuitous, the strength and richness of Kenan's best passages sweep any objections aside,'' wrote PW. (Oct.)