The salt eaters

by Toni Cade Bambara

Paper Book, 1980

Status

Checked out

Genres

Publication

New York : Vintage Books, 1981, c1980.

Description

Suicidal Velma is treated by faith healer Minnie Ransom who leads her to connect with a group of African-Americans, the Salt Eaters, who are searching for the healing properties of salt.

User reviews

LibraryThing member richardderus
Rating: 3.75* of five

Wonderful prose, not so much on the storytelling.

I haven't changed my mind on that one, either.

The Book Report: Velma is a healer's worst nightmare: a failed suicide depressed by life and Life. Minnie and Old Wife, who is Minnie's spirit guide, work to heal Velma's wounds both inner and outer, in the course of this novel.

And that, mes amis, is it.

My Review: Which is kinda the problem. It makes this gorgeous incantation of a tale into a pretty tough swallow. Interiority can be overdone. Bambara's enraged response to the world of 1980 (when this wa first published) was perfectly justified, as she saw coming the horrors we presently live through in the never subtle, never hidden class warfare counterattack begun after Nixon's crash and burn. Velma is a computer programmer, a telling detail that Bambara clearly wants to remain a detail, who can't cope with the workload...prescient much?...and whose entire world centers around *yawn* an unworthy man *cue 21st-century Serious Lady Lit music* so she loses her inner Old Wife just like Minnie did.

Minnie is a daughter of privilege, a former Bible college attendee, and now a root woman who talks to haints. I love Minnie and Old Wife with a passion! They are the kind of ladies I want to live next door to, so I can go over with a plate of blondies and a bottle of bourbon and talk about Life to them.

But loving them, and loving the loooooooooooooong internal monologues that Minnie and Old Wife share as they work to heal dull little Velma, does not make this book a novel. In French, it would be called a récit: a simple internal narrative, usually in past tense, with one PoV. It's an excellent récit, and a ~meh~ novel.

Recommended for language lovers, Southerners, and white people wondering what the fuss about African American literature is.
… (more)
LibraryThing member terese
this is beautiful. i need to read it again sometime to really grasp everything.

Language

Original publication date

1980

Physical description

295 p.; 19 cm

ISBN

0394750500 / 9780394750507
Page: 0.1726 seconds