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Sap Rising Paperback – August 27, 2002

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Editorial Reviews Review

In her debut collection, Sap Rising, Christine Lincoln gives us 12 linked stories of life among the black folk of Grandville, a small town in the rural South. Her characters are drawn to the city, but once there, they want to return to the country. Likewise, her prose pulls back and forth: a stark minimalism of form plays against a lush lyricism that reads at times like Southern-fried magical realism. In the opening story, "Bug Juice," young Sonny sneaks out of his bed and glimpses a wider world when his uncle brings a magnificent enchantress to visit from the city. The boy and the woman sit outside on the porch in the dark together, and Sonny comes to a strange new understanding of his own blackness. The whole town, it seems, dreams of escape--from the country, from poverty, from racism, from life itself and all its failures. --Claire Dederer --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Abandonment and acceptance, city versus country living, and the aching desire for freedom are the themes of the 12 linked short stories gathered here. Gently and skillfully, Lincoln leads readers back and forth in time collecting and juxtaposing fragments of stories set in a town called Grandville, in the rural South. In "Bug Juice," nine-year-old Sonny gets a taste of grown-up dreams and desires when his uncle comes to visit with a city woman "the color of ripened mulberries," who tells him stories about "Af-free-ka." Later on, in "All That's Left," Sonny appears again as one of a group of friends who decide to gang up on a prissy girl, Pontella. Pontella is the daughter of Ebbie Pinder, who runs away from Grandville and returns with baby Pontella, only to desert her three years later. When she realizes her mother isn't coming back, in "A Hook Will Sometimes Keep You," Pontella comes to believe she is turning invisible, though her Aunt Loretta loves her dearly. Lincoln's language can be trite and self-consciously folksy, and her tales fit a little too snugly in the mold of down-home Southern storytelling, but she supports their sentimental trappings with harsher truths. (Sept.)Forecast: Lincoln has already been the subject of a number of feature stories in national publications since she won a major writing prize as a graduating senior and 34-year-old single mother at Washington College in Maryland. A 12-city author tour and national print advertising are supporting this title, but it may fall between the cracks, being too literary for readers of commercial African-American fiction and too soft focus to succeed as literary fiction.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (August 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375727779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375727771
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,067,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ardor on April 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I first heard about this book on The Oprah Winfrey Show about a year ago, and although I don't usually share the same fervor on books that Oprah does, I did enjoy this collection of 12 short stories on the lives on Grandville, MD residents. I found the stories to be heartfelt and I was left with thought after reading each story. I especially enjoyed the stories about Boag and also Cinny. The writing was very descriptive in a lyrical sort of way and I was able to visualize the surroundings as if I were there. What majic words can bring to the imagination. Great debut of short stories.
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Format: Hardcover
Christine Lincoln�s debut novel, Sap Rising, is rooted in the mystical, rural Grandville where the tales of its townspeople are captured in 12 intertwining short stories. The sagas are told from varying viewpoints: fathers, grandmothers, young boys, nosey neighbors, teenaged girls, etc. and are rooted in themes of self-discovery, escapism, and hope.
All of the stories are symbolic and appealing, but a few that really struck this reviewer were the title story, �Sap Rising� and �A Very Close Conspiracy�. In �Sap Rising�, we meet a very restless young woman, Ebbie Pinder, who runs away from the mediocrity of life as a homemaker in Grandville to the bright lights of the big city. She returns home alone and with her child, Pontella, in �Like Dove Wings� and Pontella�s plight is recounted in �A Hook Will Sometimes Keep You�. In �A Very Close Conspiracy�, we meet the town drunk, Hiron Fuller, who retraces his life, loves, and views as a black man as he succumbs to a fatal injury.
The author demonstrates her depth and range of character development by taking the reader deep inside the psyches of Hiron, a man worn down by racism and poverty, the self-doubting Pontella who was abandoned by her mother, Ebbie, and the painful episodes of Boag�s and Cinny�s coming-of-age transformation. She paints a picture of the human condition and adds insight and emotion into each story. Ms. Lincoln is a great storyteller with a style akin to J. California Cooper�s yet distinctively her own. She has made her mark with a successful debut � I am looking forward to her next release.
Reviewed by Phyllis
APOOO BookClub, The Nubian Circle Book Club
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Format: Paperback
Date Reviewed: April 1, 2003
A new voice in literature is screaming to be heard, as I learned from reading SAP RISING by Christine Lincoln. A collection of short stories reminiscent of Maxine Clair's Rattlebone, SAP RISING incites a hunger in the reader that is satisfied only by turning page after page.
The stories center around characters living in the South during a post World War II America, but their voices are even more resonant than the setting. In these pieces, whose names flow poetically with their storylines, events take place that make you suck in your breath in wonderment, and, at times, heartbreak.
Rather than tell you about each story, its plot, and the key players, I will tell you that if you enjoy fierce writing and in-your-face characters, this is a book you will want to read.
Reviewed by CandaceK
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
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By Priscilla C. Johnson (Cilla) on September 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I saw the author for this book on a local t.v. program and decided to give it try and I am very glad that I did. Sap Rising is a series of short stories surrounding the people in Grandville, Maryland. The stories are very interesting, poetic and vivid. Lincoln's style sort of reminds you of J. California Cooper. Each character holds a different significance and importance to the next story. The characters share they hopes and fears on racism, class, status, family positions, friendship, dreams and the ever changing world. I think we will see a lot more of Ms. Lincoln. Congratulations!!
Peace and Blessings!!
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