Family, J. California Cooper
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A Novel

Narrator: Janina Edwards

Unabridged: 4 hr 42 min

Format: Digital Audiobook Download

Published: 11/03/2020


In this beautifuly textured first novel by the author of the acclaimed short story collection Homemade Love, the history of one slave family becomes symbolic for all slaves and slaveholders. Family is a stunning, often painfully graphic re-creation of the realities of slavery: black women raped by white masters; black children sold to sustain failing plantations-or to satisfy the whims of a petulant mistress; strong men humiliated, whipped, and beaten because of the color of their skin. But it is also the triumphant story of a mother whose loving spirit transcends the barriers of death and time, allowing her to watch over her children and her children's children. In simple, hauntingly poetic language, the slave Clora, who killed herself to escape an unbearable existence, recounts the "grief and misery that is soul and core of the life of a slave" and follows her children as they experience the joys and challenges of emancipation, create new lives for themselves and their families in the postwar South, in northern cities, and abroad, and hold fast to their dreams and their faith as they confront the fear and hatred that permeates their world.