Monday, November 07, 2005

Chester Himes

What happens if you're reading Chester Himes for the first time and you swear you know the people he's writing about though you grew up in a different part of NYC some years after the setting of the novel?

I've just started "A Rage in Harlem." I got the book from Joe over at Black Orchid . (A very cool store.) As i'm reading the book, I'm thinking, "I know these people." I grew up with some of these people. There was the craps game on a chalked out sidewalk every Friday. There was the cozy bar complete with ambulance and occassional squad car. Hookers, users, gamblers, winos. Businesses fronting for other businesses and, as in the novel, the confidence men. The random collisions of desperate people and Saturday morning cartoons. Thanks Joe for bringing back the memories.


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