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Let the Lion Eat Straw 5th Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1929454006
ISBN-10: 1929454007
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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A glorious rebirth! The republication of this milestone...is cause for great celebration indeed.” (Sapphire, author of Push)

“A masterpiece...brilliant, graceful, poetic!” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“It’s difficult to believe that a first novel can be...so rich of characterization....But this one is.” (Chattanooga Times)

“There is more life and character, more that will linger in the mind, than in countless novels twice as long!” (New York Post)

“Important....It has a rich, live, radiant validity, offering characters memorably exciting.” (Gwendolyn Brooks)

“I felt in the presence of a talent which touches the universal.” (Madeleine L'Engle)

“An amazing achievement!” (Kristin Hunter)

“Strong and beautiful....There is so much courage, honesty and life in this novel.” (Shirley Hazzard)

“Remarkable....A graceful hymn of love.” (Time)

“Imbued with African folklore...less a novel than a myth.” (The New Yorker)

“A remarkable first novel....that transcends race and class.” (Los Angeles Times)

“A beautiful book...of startling originality, simplicity, insight, and grace.” (Richard Elman)

“Accomplished...[a] special beauty.” (Library Journal)

“Full of life.” (School Library Journal)

“This lyrical, haunting novel remains a stirring testament to the power of the human spirit and the gift of love.” (The Seattle Skanner)

“Revealing the grace... in ordinary lives... [this] is a novel worthy of a place in the annals of literature.” (The Portland Skanner)

“As moving as it is wisely, lyrically told.” (O magazine)

“… this poetic and memorable novel remains a testament to the power of resurrection and the powerful gift of love.” (Ebony)

“Touching and lovingly crafted, Let the Lion Eat Straw has been away from us too long.” (Washington Post Book World) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ellease Southerland, recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Award for Poetry, is professor of African Literature at Pace University in New York. The author of the novel A Feast of Fools and the poetry collection The Magic Sun Spins, Ms. Southerland divides her time between Nigeria and New York City.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Eneke Pubns; 5th edition (June 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929454007
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929454006
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,027,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By I. Sturgell on February 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
At a local bookstore gathering that brings readers and writers together, an editor from Amistad referred to this as "the perfect book." Sure, the perfect book. What is the perfect book? Then she passed out copies and while home sick one day, I read it. Now, after finishing it 3 hours later, I weep. Ellease Southerland has indeed, crafted the perfect book. But, the reader must believe in the essential goodness, resilience and beauty we hide somewhere deep inside. Abeba Williams, from childhood to adulthood, pulls us into her life, filled with simple complications and routine events that become so much more when viewed through her absorbing eyes. We are astounded at her courage, her resilience, her patience, her love. We applaud her survival as she struggles to build a life with her real mother who has come to collect her from Mamma Habblesham, the midwife who raised her to age 5. Abeba's mother, Angela, has found a husband in New York and can can finally care for her daughter. Brooklyn collides with Abeba's simple country upbringing, but Mamma Habblesham grounded her by giving her roots that branch into the strength and wonder that help her cope, adjust, even define life on her terms. She becomes an accomplished musician, a strong child growing up an even stronger woman, in the midst of chaos and tenderness. She meets Daniel, who sings at her church and her anticipated study at Julliard falls by the wayside as she and Daniel set off on a life filled with trauma, laced with joy, joy laced with trauma. None of it is trite, false or overdone. Simple images sparkle in their honesty. After Abeba's screaming labor during the birth of her first child, Southerland crystalizes Abeba's emotion as " He was the sun that soaked up the pain." The perfect sentence,one of many, in the perfect book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There were a number of times I wanted to put this book down or even throw it in the trash, but eventually I fell in love with this book. It was a painful & trying love, but in the end I fell in love. The sentence structure was difficult for me to become comfortable with. It was not until I decided to view the writing style as a stream of consciousness that I was able to relax into the words. Early on, I had trouble accepting the direction the novel was taking. As I continued to read, I realized the author could have gone into so many different directions with this novel. I would have loved to have known more about Mamma Habblesham's life and gifts. I would have liked for Angela to be more loving & her husband to continue living. Daniel's character challenged me the most, but in the end I came to respect him. Abeba! Ah, Abeba, initially, and throughout the book, I was not sure if she was choosing her life consciously, but by the end of the book I knew all was well with her soul.
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Format: Hardcover
One of those books you wish you read much earlier in your life. Very fast, beautifully written in a lyrical manner. A few pages but tells a story of a woman whose life seems to have taken a wrong turn (depending on the reader's perception of life). I know some authors would have written the same story in a billion words.
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Format: Paperback
The title of this book drew me in and I was not disappointed. I must say this was a quick fluid read for me. The writing style was somewhat poetic which made the story leave such an impact.

The story begins with a young Abeba living with her Mamma Habblesham, the midwife who delivered her, in the country eating boiled peanuts and playing with Jack. Jack was their mentally challenged neighbor who was much older than Abeba but always played with her and promised to marry her. Then Abeba's "New York" and biological mama, Angela, comes to take her back to New York. Upon arrival, Abeba discovers she has a "New York" daddy as well. Mr. Lavoisier gave Abeba his last name as well as his unconditional love, unlike her mother. During this time, Abeba is introduced to the piano and takes to it like a pro. She enjoys her lessons and showing off what she learned for her father. When Mr. Lavoisier dies of a sudden illness so does the money and the love Abeba has gotten used to.

The next phase of the story we see an extremely passive, sheltered, yet very talented Abeba residing with an overbearing mother. When Abeba graduated High School she had dreams of attending Julliard but was sidetracked by a charismatic singing preacher. Angela advised against this union but Abeba married Daniel anyway. Angela was soon pregnant and on the way to Florida where Daniel was from. In Florida, Abeba discovered a secret about Daniel that would haunt them the rest of their lives. It was at this point that we lost Abeba in the story. Abeba and Daniel had fifteen children whom she showered with that love that she so lacked from her own mother.

I enjoyed this book but somewhere between marriage and child bearing we lost Abeba. She never reclaimed her identity. It was "mentioned" toward the end but it was nothing to hold on to. The ending of this story left my heart heavy. By the end of the story, we come to find that true love will bear the madness that life can bring.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Achingly and lovingly rendered story of a life that takes the lemons that are given and made lemonade
It will stay with you long after the last words have leapt off of the page.Beautifully written
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Format: Paperback
I liked this book, the story, and characters, I wasn't to crazy about the style in which it was written. Almost poetic maybe? I think maybe this book should be given to young girls to read to see what if. It was a very sad story. I don't really get the title, but it is a pretty decent read.
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