Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $3.33 (21%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 14 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Paperback. Ships directly from Amazon!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Visitation of Spirits: A Novel Paperback – January 25, 2000


See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.62
$8.31 $2.27
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"


Frequently Bought Together

A Visitation of Spirits: A Novel + I Am Not Sidney Poitier: A Novel
Price for both: $25.66

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (January 25, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375703977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375703973
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As its title suggests, a powerful strain of mysticism runs through this story of personal awakening in a black North Carolina family, but first-time novelist Kenan has a rare gift for naturalism as well, capturing the texture of farm life with vivid detail. The novel follows Horace Cross, a brilliant, tormented teenager who is his family's greatest hope, through a night when demons--perhaps literal, perhaps imagined--force him to confront his bleakest thoughts. Revolted by his homosexuality, flummoxed by his nonconformity and resentful of his family's closed-mindedness, Horace careens toward disaster, while in scenes that leap through time, we meet the other generations of the Cross family. Kenan shapes his novel as a series of struggles for understanding and enlightenment, contrasting Horace's strife with an older cousin's efforts to understand him. 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.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"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

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
3
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By I. Sondel VINE VOICE on December 6, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"A Visitation of Spirits" is a portrait of Horace Cross, an adolscent both black and gay. This is an angry, often confrontational, novel dealing with the psychological ramifications wrought by religious condemnation, gross hypocrisy and clergy that myopically perverts scripture by preaching hate and intolerance.
The story is communicated through a series of recollections. Reality and memory coalesce in a nightmarish, drug-induced psychosis. "A Visitation of Spirits" is a haunting novel of a young gay man wrestling with his demons. His struggles are universal; his solution is, unfortunately, both tragic and final. This is a work of incredible depth,passion and understanding.
Randall Kenen, who won a Lambda Award for his short story collection "Let the Dead Bury Thier Dead," is an enormously talented prose stylist. He brings together the best qualities of James Baldwin, Carson McCullers, Toni Morrison and Flannery O'Connor. Higher praise could not be offered.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Smith VINE VOICE on September 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a powerful novel with a complex construction that takes effort on the part of the reader - chapters occur in two series of events that are identified by date and time as well as "confessions" that review particular lives. The book's strength is in showing the successful rural black family's attitude towards whites and in showing the role of the church in their community. The plot line holding it together is that of a talented teenager unable to come to terms with his homosexual orientation, sure that it will damn him in the sight of God. The context for this self-damnation is set by his deacon grandfather who raised him and who counsels members of the community, his great aunts who assist in raising him who are mothers in the church, and his preacher cousin - the religion which runs through the family is a stern religion with the backbone that allowed his family to succeed.
Within this framework, we get wonderful prose describing the disappearing culture - house raisings, pig slaughters... - and the "new culture" of racial intergration. We see several generations attempting to adjust to the new world while retaining their family values. All in all a book well worth the time required to read and savor it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "blissengine" on April 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
Horace Cross is struggling with his small town's suffocating atmosphere, his family's expectations, and his own homosexuality while it's condemned by his religion. He finds an escape, of sorts, by delving into sorcery, and he conjures a demon spirit which spirits him back through his life as if he's Ebenezer Scrooge. His cousin Jimmy is a reverend living with the memories of his deceased wife, as well as struggling with his own inner demons. Interwoven in these tales is the story of not only the Cross family, but also of the disappearing ways of life in the South, most specifically the lives of African-Americans in the South. It's a potent, rhythmic narrative that draws the reader further and further into Horace's painful tale. I stumbled through some of the beginning pages, but it certainly became more accessible as the book continued. Considered one of the 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Novels, Kenan's "A Visitation of Spirits" is certainly worthy of that distinction.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Karina Gronnvoll on November 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I reached the last page of this book, and I turned back to the beginning and started over. I have never read a book that so profoundly moved me. Kenan's name should be a household word. He has written a book that lets the reader feel what it is to be black, gay, and shouldering the burden of hundreds of years of family expectations. At the same time, his story is accessible to readers who are neither black nor gay, but simply human beings. Read this book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By JSM on March 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a graduate class on 20th century Southern American literature. I had never read any of the author's work before, but found the book fascinating. To be fair, I'm certain there are elements in this book I will never understand because I'm not a gay black child from the deep south who has struggled with spirituality, sexuality, and suicide (all major themes in this book), but that being said "A Visitation of Spirits" is an expertly crafted work and a pleasure to read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?