April 14, 1996
"The Wrecked, Blessed Body of Shelton Lafleur," by John Gregory Brown. Houghton Mifflin. 256 pages. $21.95If you're drawn to the timeless themes of Southern literature -race, family, loss and redemption - and to powerfully understated prose, this book will move you deeply.Set in New Orleans during the Depression, it tells the story of a crippled black orphan seeking to find his identity and seeking some meaning in the secret-shrouded, pain-filled existence he's known.Brown's writing is sensitive and full of compassion: for Shelton's abandonment and suffering, his hope and longing, his desperate struggle to find some meaning in it all.This work may not be flashy but it's one heck of a fine book.