"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.
Randall Kenan grew up in Chinquapin, North Carolina, and was graduated from the University of North Carolina. He has taught at Sarah Lawrence, Columbia University, Duke, and the University of Mississippi, and is now at the University of Memphis. He is the author of a novel, A Visitation of Spirits, and a collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1993. Among his awards are the Mary Francis Hobson Medal for Arts and Letters, a Whiting Writer's Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Prix de Rome
"Randall Kenan continues [James] Baldwin's legendary tradition of 'telling it on the mountain' by giving voice to the unvarnished truth about blacks and homosexuality." --San Francisco Chronicle
"A gifted, confident writer." --The Raleigh News & Observer