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Paperback Serpent's Gift Book

ISBN: 0684801604

ISBN13: 9780684801605

Serpent's Gift

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

One of the most striking and heartening developments in American letters in recent years has been the flowering and attendant celebration of African-American writers and of books that have introduced to readers everywhere people, situations, and events that have, hitherto, largely been ignored, denied, or unknown. Now comes Helen Elaine Lee's supremely assured The Serpent's Gift, a first novel that gives to us -- with the fullest emotional resonance,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


There are so many modern American authors with nothing special to write about. They delve into the esoteric and have no real life experience or understanding of their heretage to inspire their writings. Not so with Lee. This novel is a wonderful tale of two families unite by tradgedy and form a common bond of love. The main plot is interwoven with the imaginative tales of LaRue Smalls that reflect the meaning of their lives while bringing comfort and ties that bind. This African-American writer leaves the anger beneath the surface and shows two ways of dealing with the horrors and poverty of Jim Crow: alcoholism and violence vs love and creativity. She exchanges beauty for ashes in a universal manner. The writing is clear and the characters real. It is a novel that you do not want to miss.

Wonderful read

This is a book that you don't want to end. I wanted delve more into the characters lives as the book went on. They were so fascinating and varied. I liked the way Helen Elaine Lee integrated telling of folktales so closely with the story as well. That aspect gave the book a magical feeling and hope to the characters lives.

I love this book

I will add this book, and Ms. Lee's most recent accomplishment, Watermarked, to my Good List.

A Scintillating, Unforgettable Read !

Ms. Lee's novel weaves the tale of two families whoses lives are forever entwined. Cleverly, she uses the image/symbol of the serpent through the important passages of the main characters. LaRue, an accomplished story teller also helps to convey the symbolism of the snake. Through powerful metaphorical images and symbolism, Ms. Lee leaves readers contemplating about the two families, the Staples and the Smalls even after the very last page. A powerful tale from an eloquent writer. I am still in awe of the fact that The Serpent's Gift is Ms. Lee's first novel.

heartwarming, troubling and ultimately satisfying

The characters, lives and their worlds are engrossing. Ms. Lee brings you there at once and forever with her sweet, use of the language and her fine ability to write about the ordinary and her ability to say the things which are difficult to say. the lives of her characters; Larue, Ouida and Zella in particular are very satisfying and complete, yet you will continue to wonder where they are and what they are doing long after you have read the book.
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