AfriGeneas Books~Authors~Reviews Forum
Gabriel's Story ~ review
[quoting] David Anthony Durham is a writer of Caribbean ancestry who lives in the United States and Scotland. His first novel--a western that's as lyrical as it is thrilling--gathers up these various outposts of personal geography and unites them amid the large-scale diorama of the American West. It's about a surly kid named Gabriel who is brought from Baltimore to a Kansas homestead by his ex-slave mother. The Civil War is a not-so-distant memory, and so we're immediately set down in a cultural and topographical tabula rasa: the earliest days of free blacks and their westerly progress into a barren landscape. "Gabriel's Story" is the kind of book you wolf down like stew dished up at a campfire. But it's also a carefully wrought meditation on the big stuff: race, family, crime and the cruelties reaped from living on the outskirts of society.