And All Our Wounds Forgiven

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Arcade, 1994 - Fiction - 228 pages
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When John Calvin Marshall graduated from Harvard in 1956 with a Ph.D. in philosophy, he was prepared for a life of teaching and relative tranquility. But History had another plan for him: in the nascent civil rights movement of the 1960s, he became first a spokesman, then a leader, and finally a shining symbol of the new generation of blacks who were demanding their full rights as citizens.
And All Our Wounds Forgiven is the story of John Calvin Marshall's brief, turbulent, charismatic life, which ended, perhaps inevitably, in assassination. The novel is told in four alternating voices: that of John Calvin Marshall's wife, Andrea; of Lisa Adams, the young white woman who as a student at Fisk University first heard Marshall speak and fell under his spell, later becoming his trusted aide and passionate mistress; of Bobby Card, a black civil rights leader operating in the heart of darkness - the Deep South of the 1960s - as Marshall's chief lieutenant in the field; and finally, of Marshall himself. There are, too, leading figures of the time - Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, J. Edgar Hoover, Malcolm X - whose meetings and conversations with Marshall add insights and historical perspective to the unfolding events. Behind these voices the author intones, at various places throughout the text, the litany of those brave souls, both black and white, who not only bore witness to a national evil but gave their lives to help eradicate it.
From the lunch-counter sit-ins to the Freedom Rides, from voter registration drives to police brutality, from night-riding Klansmen to behind-the-scenes political maneuvering, Lester re-creates, from the viewpoint of the present day, the daily drama of those fearful, exciting, and violent times. Political and provocative, And All Our Wounds Forgiven is most of all a moving and tender love story about one of this century's most charismatic black leaders and the two women he loved.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Lester (The Last Tales of Uncle Remus, 1994, etc.) offers a potentially controversial and intimate account of the life and death of a black civil rights leader as told 25 years later by the leader ... Read full review

And all our wounds forgiven

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Novels like this, which depict the life of a prominent politician or activist, probably make public figures shudder. The fictionalized version of their lives often becomes more real than history. In ... Read full review


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About the author (1994)

Julius Lester teaches at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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