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Twelve Gates to the City (Tommy Lee Tyson) Hardcover – December 6, 2011
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Elements of magical realism ... mixed with black folkloric tradition are described with conviction and passion. Black's personal connection to the material gives a hard-won reconciliation genuine emotional impact.
Black describes black tradition and spirituality well.
About the Author
DANIEL OMOTOSHO BLACK was raised in Blackwell, Arkansas and now teaches at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. He earned the Ph.D. in African American Studies from Temple University then returned to Clark Atlanta as a professor with hopes of inspiring young black minds to believe in themselves. His heart's desire is to write literature which celebrates the African American presence in America and teaches the world how to be more human. He is the author of Perfect Peace, They Tell Me of a Home and The Sacred Place.
Top customer reviews
I read Twelve Gates this weekend (started Friday after work and finish early Sunday morning). I am still in that place of reflection and contemplation. This book is so much more than a mere story book.......it is history, philosophy, African-American studies, self-help, religion, new age spirituality (which ain't hardly new).......wrapped in the package of a novel! This book called me out on my "ish" and makes me want to be the person God put me here to be.
"Twelve Gates to the City" picks up where "They Tell Me of a Home" left off. Only this time we get to see the characters from a slightly different perspective. We get to see who they are from their vantage point not just that of TL's. We get to see what perfect love looks like when coming from imperfect people.
This book is heavy with spirituality, Black southern traditions, and the importance of family and community. The characters are so real and vibrant you feel as though they are long-lost friends....or the strange family members you sometimes want to deny (you'll get that after you read the book).
PLEASE read this book! It has the potential to change your life.......or at least change how you view your life.
It took more than a year to get my hands on Twelve Gates to The City and I must say I was not disappointed. I read the book slowly, savoring every word because I did not want to miss anything. I was entranced from the start and loved the way the story was told from the viewpoint of Dr. Tommy Lee Tyson, better known as T.L. and his Sister, who had died, quite mysteriously.
T.L. has returned to Swamp Creek Arkansas after ten years away and has earned a PHD, he is now in the small town and planning to teach at the local elementary school. Though, this is not what he planned, he knows it is what he must do to survive. He is also interested in finding out how his beloved sister died. What he does not anticipate is how much he will learn and how it will transform his life and the lives of those close to him.
I love the way Mr. Black slowly exposes us to the relationships, the painful one between a mother and son, the renewing one between a teacher and student and more importantly the two selves at war within T.L. He does not try to give us tidy answers, but allows us to see the whole person and their struggles and demons.
There are also elements of religious mysticism that takes this book to an entirely different level. I cannot say enough about this novel or the excellence of the story telling of Daniel Black. What I can say is that at a time when we are hungering for great literature, Mr. Black has decided to feed us and I thank him, and recommend Twelve Gates to The City to all who read.
Angelia Vernon Menchan
I look forward to other works by Mr Black as I think he is a very, very gifted story teller.