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Crossing Blood, Crossing Blood, 0817310096, 0-8173-1009-6, 978-0-8173-1009-7, 9780817310097,

Crossing Blood
by Nanci Kincaid

Quality Paper
1999. 288 pp.
Price:  $24.95 t

Kincaid's fictional meditation on race relations in the Jim Crow South takes voice through its protagonist, a white teenage girl growing up in segregated Tallahassee.

Lucy Conyers lives with her brothers, mother, and stepfather in Tallahassee, in the last house in the white part of town, just before the pavement ends and the road turns to dirt. On the other side of a patch of woods are Melvina Williams, the Conyers' maid, her drunken husband Old Alfonso, and a yard full of kids, mostly boys--including Lucy's obsession, the wild and handsome Skippy.

This is the early 1960s and the battle over integration is brewing even in Lucy's own home. Her stepfather clings to segregationist ways, while her independent-minded mother believes in the cause of civil rights. Lucy  understands that there are unspoken lines she is not to cross, but her curiosity leads her to trespass on the forbidden world next door. There, she learns the hard realities of love, race, and hatred.

The story, told convincingly and compellingly in the voice of its young narrator, examines the complex relationships between family members, men and women, blacks and whites. Crossing Blood is a novel of making promises and struggling to keep them, of unlikely bonds and forbidden ones, of love gone wrong and love everlasting.

Nanci Kincaid is the author of two novels, Crossing Blood and Balls, and a short story collection, Pretending the Bed Is a Raft. Her short fiction has appeared in the New Stories from the South anthology, as well as such journals as Story, Ontario Review, Missouri Review, and Carolina Quarterly. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Nanci Kincaid has lived in Virginia, Wyoming, Alabama, North Carolina, and Arizona.

"Crossing Blood is simply one of the best books I'veever read, and for a first novel, it's astonishing. Nanci Kincaid has away of getting under my skin with her wise and soulful portrayal of flesh-and-bloodcharacters who remind us all of the pain and pleasure of being human. She'salready one of our best storytellers with a lot more to come. "
—Robert Inman

"Finally, a southern novel that a black person can love,can believe. Crossing Blood signals the arrival of a major talent amongAmerican novelists. "
—Henry Louis Gates, Jr

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