Let the Lion Eat Straw
My online buddy, Chris read my rant about promoting christian novelists of color.
Chris emailed me and asked:
What titles will hook us[white Christians] so we keep seeking out fiction by African-American authors? ... The Devil's having a field
day with our crappy handling of our racial squeamishness (we don't want
to presume and we don't want to offend -- so we do nothing). It needs to
stop. Help put an end to it. I want to read a good book. Period. What do you recommend?
Before I introduce a book that I am recommending this week as a great starter to reading christian themed fiction written by non-white authors, Chris, let me just say that I appreciate you coming to me with a very candid response(I didn't quote his entire email here.) When I go into a bookstore I ask for whatever book I want regardless of race. I don't think how others will think if I say I am a big fan of Thomas Hardy, Amy Tan and Sue Monk Kidd. As a christian I don't squirm from reading street fiction, I read what I want if it's good. The books that I will recommend on my blog are books that I have went through with a fine tooth comb. Because my little name(The Reaper) means a lot to me, I want to bring quality fiction to you.
So starting off this Primer, I recommed Let the Lion Eat Straw written twenty-five-years ago. Harper Collins has republished the critically acclaimed book. And I am reviewing it for Mosaic Literary Magazine.
Although this book is not a CBA title, it is christian themed and chock full of biblical choruses that crescendo until the main character, Abeba Torch leaves the proverbial stage. One of the most illuminating passages in this book is when Abeba accepts her illness:
It is God in the house when the curtains lift gently at the windows, and a young child sucks his itching gums. We do not understand the mysteries of God. God the winter. Summer, Septembers. Moody dark tones of fathers dying. The splash and laughter. Children playing.
-excerpt from Ellease Southerland's Let the Lion Eat Straw
For those of my nonblack sisters and brothers in Christ it would be glorious for you to read this book. For my bros and sis, it is a great reminder of how far we have come and how far we must go. It is short(186 pages,) it is lyrical and personifies the beauty of the human condition.
I will continue my discussion of this book throughout the week. And if you are with me, and hanging on to learn more about God through literature. Let us read the biblical text that this story symbolizes. Isaiah 11:6- God's message of World Peace/A New Heaven--what Dee's Christian Fiction hopes to accomplish.
Thanks, Creston Mapes for coming out and reading Dark Star at thirdthursdays.
Writing to see what the end's gon' be,