Black (The Sacred Place) explores the fateful decision of Emma Jean Peace to raise her seventh son, Perfect, as the daughter she has always wanted. Her plan, nutty as it is, works out until Perfect is eight years old and his blind older brother, Bartimaeus, makes an innocent discovery about his sister's body. Soon after, Perfect's friends begin talk of womanhood, prompting Emma Jean to reveal to Perfect the truth. So begins an education for Perfect—rechristened Paul—on manhood while his small Arkansas town casts an unforgiving eye on its newest curiosity. While the rural South backdrop is overly familiar and the dialogue is painfully hoary (What chu talkin' 'bout, Emma Jean?), Black manages a nuanced exploration of sexual identity and social structures without elevating his characters to angels or martyrs. (Mar.)
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“A high-spirited, compassionate look at everyone's longings for perfection, both inside and out.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Black effortlessly conveys Paul's agony over his inner shame and what the world sees on the outside. It's painful to see how his father also struggles to accept as a son the child he had once adored as a girl. For the Peace family, the end of Perfect is akin to the death of a loved one.”-- San Antonio Express-News
“Daniel Black understands the racial psychology and culture of the South so well that he can show, not tell, and his characters’ actions always ring true. This novel is a powerful exploration of a small group of individuals who hold each other in high regard. The love among members of this family is severely challenged, but the challenge is triumphantly met. Each child grows to manhood and achieves success according to his gifts. Through their lives we experience disappointment and sorrow, but also fulfillment and joy. Perfect Peace is an intense and satisfying read.”
--Greg Iles, New York Times bestselling author of The Devil's Punchbowl
“Daniel Black writes of growing up in a small town with humor, grace and forgiveness.” --Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of Very Valentine and the Big Stone Gap Series
“Craft is not the word for this joyfully inscribed novel. The proper word is art. The book is a brave and complicated story perfectly told. Mr. Black offers a cultural gift to be welcomed.”
--Houston A. Baker, Jr., author of American Book Award winning Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals have abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era.
"Perfect Peace is a morality tale of the consequences of letting our selfish needs trap the ones we love into roles they weren't born to play. The characters here are as flawed, their sins numerous, as any living human being held under the lens, but the author brings a compassion and understanding to their plights." --Mat Johnson, award-winning author of Incognegro, Drop, and Hunting in Harlem
"Daniel Black has pried open the isolated lives of rural southerners, allowing us to peek inside. To understand the complexities of the southern experience, read Perfect Peace.”
--Dr. Karyn Lacy, professor of Sociology, University of Michigan, author of Blue Chip Black: Race, Class, and Status in the New Black Middle Class
"Mr. Black’s novel nudges our sense of awareness and accountability. His narrative eloquently poses difficult questions with disarming kindness: ‘Do you know who you are? Do you know what you do? Do you know that there is never an excuse?’ The relevance of this work with regard to all we are and all we do far exceeds his adroitly simple telling of the tale."
--Keith Hamilton Cobb, actor
“Part cautionary tale, part folk tale, part fable, Daniel Black's Perfect Peace is a complete triumph. It bursts with emotions as intense as opera. Perfect Peace will bring you to tears and laughter. You will recognize characters from your own life, and perhaps even recognize yourself. In Emma Jean Peace, a mid-20th-Century rural Southern black woman who wants a daughter so desperately that she raises her infant son as a girl, Dr. Black has created a character as complex, equivocal and unforgettable as Scarlett O'Hara.”
-- Larry Duplechan, author of Blackbird, Captain Swing, and the Lambda Literary Award-winning Got 'Til It's Gone
The book was one of our book club recommendations. We enjoyed the read and the discussion about the characters. I would recommend it to a friend.Published 8 days ago by Pamela
LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!, THIS BOOK. IT WOULD BE GREAT TO SEE SOMEONE MAKE A MOVIE OF THIS BOOK. MR, BLACK IS A EXCELLENT WRITER.Published 10 days ago by debra cromer
As uncomfortable as this book can make you, it is a great read. He's not a great writer yet. He is working with an anti-Christian, "rural is close-minded", pro-homosexual... Read morePublished 12 days ago by B. Brown-Paul
I bought this book for my book club and I couldn't stop reading. Very good find.Published 14 days ago by Tamara Ellis
You can't put the book down as it takes you on the journey and lives of the Peace family ..Published 18 days ago by Velma Sanabria
This was such an amazing book. It captured me from beginning to the tearful end. The lives of the characters cause you to be engulfed by whatever the next move would be for them. Read morePublished 19 days ago by CakeBakinRev
What a wonderfully written book - I enjoyed reading it! While I felt horrible for the abusive childhood the mother had endured I could in no way condone the crazy decision made. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Morales3322