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Description - I Can't Wait on God by Albert French

The crowded joys and familiar despair of poor, back-alley life in 1950 Pittsburgh have a hold on most people there, but there are those who need to escape. Jeremiah Henderson and his woman, Willet Mercer, set their sights on New York City - but making good is easier said than done. Left with no choice but to give in to the pimp who'd like to try Willet on for size before selling her to his clientele, Jeremiah and Willet try to focus on the future. But just before the pimp has his way with her, Willet balks, stabbing him to death in the back of his car. Horrified, but, nonetheless now flush with the pimp's fat wad and fancy Buick, it looks as if they may be in sight of their dreams; they just have to make one last stop outside Wilmington, North Carolina, where Willet intends to see the little boy she abandoned long ago.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099273264
ISBN-10: 0099273268
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 15mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 3-Feb-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - I Can't Wait on God by Albert French

Book Reviews - I Can't Wait on God by Albert French

UK Kirkus Review » Written entirely in the present tense, this breathless road novel tells the story of Jeremiah and Willett, a young couple on the run from 1950s Pittsburgh after killing a pimp. Heading for New York City, Willett first has to make a trip to see the son she abandoned years ago. Dedicated to 'every hand that's ever reached', it's a sordid but strangely beautiful piece, written in the language of its protagonists and full of aching longing for a future that's always one step ahead. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » The author of two previous novels (Billy, 1993; Holly, 1995) and a Vietnam memoir (Patches of Fire, 1997) returns to the Homewood section of Pittsburgh - familiar also to readers of John Edgar Wideman - for this tale of jazz, violence, and ghetto-porch culture. Panoramic in scope, and full of secondary characters, this Old-School-style narrative never fully coheres, but creates an indelible portrait of a back-alley neighborhood. Here, French captures the "hum" of "hush talk" that spreads like fire when a local hustler is robbed, gutted and thrown into the high weeds near the train tracks. Though the brutal white cops turn the community upside down, the regular folk know the culprits right away. Jeremiah Henderson, and his beautiful, high-yellow girlfriend, Willet Mercer, dream of New York City, and consider turning Wilier out as a prostitute. When the much disliked Tommy Moses tries testing her, she's so disgusted that she slices him up. With Tommy's pocketful of cash, and his big car, they head first to North Carolina, where Willet hopes to see the son she abandoned at childbirth, who lives with her mother. Meanwhile, back in Homewood, the locals go about their routines: elderly Mr. Allen surveys the scene from his porch, while the women pass news over the fences; Dicky Bird with his pushcart and drunk Bill Lovitt pick junk along the roadside; and Mack Jack, a tall and brooding sax player, roams the streets, living inside the sounds, and bedding a few local women. The novel cuts back and forth between Mack Jack's poetic interior life and Jeremiah and Willet on the road, creating a false expectation of some sort of convergence, but ends instead all too abruptly. Lots of set pieces reveal French's narrative muscle, though the drug and jazz scenes can't beat the recently rediscovered period fictions of Clarence Cooper or Herbert Simmons. (Kirkus Reviews)

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