Format: Mass Market Paperbound
Dimensions: 224 pages, 6.85 × 4.15 × 0.6 in
Published: January 9, 2001
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0770428606
ISBN - 13: 9780770428600
Read from the Book
Chapter 1 “You can never place your foot into the same river twice,” my dad often reminded me, quoting some ancient Greek philosopher with an unpronounceable name. I wondered as I scraped the sole of my high-top on the spade’s edge if the same wisdom applied to stepping in dog droppings. Between our new house and the row of cedars that fringed the river, the dry brown grass was littered with revolting little piles of fossilized puppy poop that had magically appeared as the snow thawed. Scooping dog doo-doo pretty much summed up the way I felt about moving to that place. The house itself was all right. Under torture I would have admitted that it was better than our cramped two-bedroom apartment in the city. I had a decent room on the second floor with a big window looking over the yard, but that wasn’t much consolation. I was used to going to school through the rumble and snarl of traffic, sidewalks teeming with people rushing past restaurants, pool halls, video arcades and head shops. I had travelled on a city bus jammed with faces of every colour and humming with languages from around the world. Now each morning I stood like a stump at the end of our unpaved driveway waiting for the big yellow monster to swallow me up and transport me to Boredom High School. I had been dragged from a major street in the biggest city in the country to the edge of the known universe, a rural route in Garafraxa Township–the name sounded like an incurable skin disea
From the Publisher
"But I don''t look like a Jewish Negro or a black Jew. I look like a black. I am of average height, of average build, with wavy hair that I wear very short, and very dark skin. Talk about an identity crisis."
Ten years after Crabbe, Bell returns to the theme of a young man wrestling with his identity. Zack Lane is uncomfortable with his mixed racial origins. He knows much about his father''s side, the descendants of Romanian Jews, but his mother broke all ties with her family before Zack was born. Why she did so is the "family mystery."
Zack has recently been uprooted when his parents moved from the largest city in Canada to the outskirts of a small town. Friendless, unsuccessful at school and at the lowest point in his life, he undertakes a research project into the life of Richard Pierpoint, former African slave, soldier in the War of 1812, and the pioneer farmer who cleared the land on which Zack''s house now stands. Pierpoint''s story inspires Zack to go to Mississippi to look for his maternal grandfather. What he discovers shakes the foundations of all he has believed in.
About the Author
William Bell, author, editor and educator, holds Masters degrees in both Education and Literature. Currently the Head of English at Orillia Collegiate, Bell has also taught in Harbin and Beijing. His other novels include Crabbe, No Signature, Speak to the Earth and Forbidden City, which has been translated into more than ten languages.
"Bell graphically depicts the horror of Tiananmen Square in this powerful and compelling book." —Calgary Herald
"Full of pleasures—. William Bell is arguably one of the most wide-ranging and reliable of Canadian authors." —Books in Canada