Author birthdays

  • January 10th

    January 10th Americo De Almeida, Jose (Born  January 10, 1887)    JOSE AMERICO DE ALMEIDA was born in 1887 and lived in retirement in Joao Pessoa. His long life was devoted almost entirely to public service and literature. His first novel A Bagacei’ra (Trash, 1928) enjoyed enormous success. The first translation of the book to appear in any language was that of R. L. Scott-Buccleuch into English in 1978 and...

  • January 9th

    January 9th   Karel Capek (Born  January 9, 1890)    Karel Capek (January 9, 1890 - December 25, 1938) was one of the most influential Czech writers of the 20th century. Capek was born in Malé Svatonovice, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic). He wrote with intelligence and humour on a wide variety of subjects. His works are known for their interesting and precise descriptions of reality, and...

  • January 8th

    January 8th     Leonardo Sciascia (Born  January 8, 1921)    Leonardo Sciascia (January 8, 1921 – November 20, 1989) was an Italian writer, novelist, essayist, playwright and politician. Some of his works have been made into films, including Open Doors (1990) and Il giorno della civetta (1968). Sciascia was born in Racalmuto, Sicily. In 1935 his family moved to Caltanissetta; here Sciascia studied under...

The Neglected Books Page Where forgotten books are remembered
  • The Department Store, by Margarete Böhme (1912)

    The Department Store: A Novel of Today was German novelist Margarete Böhme’s magnum opus, five hundred pages long and stocked with nearly as many characters as flowed through the doors of the great Berlin store, Müllenmeister’s Emporium, around which the story centers. Böhme is remembered today for her novel, Tagebuch einer Verlorenen (The Diary of... Read more

    The post ...

  • Two Sets of Three-Volume Memoirs

    In the course of this year of devoting my time to reading and writing about neglected books by women, one genre that has particularly captivated me is the autobiography. Like many men, I find women a subject of endless fascination and every piece of autobiographical writing by a woman seems to be an opportunity to... Read more

    The post Two Sets of Three-Volume

  • The library at Oakland, from Seven Houses, by Josephine W. Johnson (1973)

    Walk on over the leaf-patterned carpet, under the gas lamps, and there is Pickwick and Sam Weller in a huge gilt frame. It hangs above the piano. This is a busy room. There is a “dado” of landscapes near the ceiling. And pictures of landscapes on either side of the great Pickwick. I have a... Read more

    The post The library at Oakland, from Seven

  • Running Away From Myself, by Barbara Deming (1969)

    When Barbara Deming published this study of the American dream as portrayed in American films of the 1940s, she had spent over a decade speaking, writing, organizing, marching, and being imprisoned for the causes of racial and sexual equality and non-violent resistance. The same “strange split in consciousness” she saw in some of the movies... Read more

    The post ...

  • All That Seemed Final, by Joan Colebrook (1941)

    Reading All That Seemed Final, I was often reminded of another multi-player London novel I’ve listened to as audiobooks in the last year–John Lanchester’s Capital. Both books interweave the stories of a cast of characters over the space of roughly one year, switching from one to another from chapter to chapter, and drawing many links... Read more

    The post ...

  • Sibyl Sue Blue, by Rosel George Brown (1966)

    Sibyl Sue Blue is an undercover cop who wears chartreuse mini-skirts, rouges her knees, smokes cigars, and knows how to take the wind out of an obstreperous Centaurian with a quick sledge-hammer swing of her handbag. Nearing forty, she’s passing as the girlfriend of a high schooler, thanks to a wig, cheek pieces and an... Read more

    The post Sibyl Sue

  • The Education of Myself, from When Found, Make a Verse Of, by Helen Bevington (1961)

    The education of myself began one day in March at the University of Chicago. It happened suddenly during the spring term of my junior year. I was eighteen years old and I saw a blinding light. That day I went into the university bookstore and bought two notebooks, one of them to hold a list... Read more

    The post The Education of Myself, from When

  • “Negative Entropy,” from The Lightning-Struck Tower, by Sheila Shannon (1947)

    Negative Entropy or The Third Law of Thermodynamics or How It is We Keep Alive We feed on crystals, feast on minerals, Batten, upon the moon, consume the stars And through the channels of our love drain off The sun’s heat and the whole world’s energy. The crocus and the oak, the elephant, The long-tailed... Read more

    The post “Negative

  • Reader Recommendations: Good Books in Cheap Covers

    A few readers have contacted me to recommend neglected books by women writers for me to consider as part of my theme for this year, and some of the most interesting suggestions have in common the fact that they were all issued as cheap popular paperbacks, and a few as originals. So let me dive... Read more

    The post Reader Recommendations: Good Books in Cheap

  • The Passions of Uxport, by Maxine Kumin (1968)

      You’ve gotta love ’60s paperbacks. This Dell edition of Maxine Kumin’s The Passions of Uxport, a “probing novel of marriages and matings,” features a man and woman moments before doing something unsuitable for supermarket shelf display. The back blurb compares it to Updike’s novel of group sex, Couples, and John Cheever’s novel of suburban... Read more

    The post ...

Three Percent - Literature in Translation

Three Percent - Article

A resource for international literature from the University of Rochester

Subscribe to our Newsletter!


(02/25/2013) Faith & The Good Thing by Charles Johnson. New York. 1974. Viking Press. 196 pages. hardcover. keywords: Literature America Black African American. 0670305693. Jacket design by Abner Graboff.


   ‘It is time to tell you of Faith and the Good Thing.’ Faith Cross, only child of Lavidia and the late Todd Cross (a storyteller who lived in a world full of magic and fabulous fictions) of Hatten County, Georgia, saved at a prayer meeting at the age of twelve, is a beauty, a brown-sugared soul sister turning eighteen on the day her mother breathes her last breath. ‘Momma,’ Faith says, ‘I called for Reverend Brown. .’ Lavidia says, ‘Girl, you get yourself a good thing,’ then gulps once and dies. Faith doesn’t know what that means, but she hungers to find out. She wants – needs - that Good Thing on earth, that really Good Thing. Can anyone show her the way? The Swamp Woman, the werewitch who dwells in the bogs, tells her she’s a Number One - needs direction to avoid disaster. Faith, she says, should leave the Southern backwoods and head for Chicago. Life on earth without the Good Thing, she tells Faith, is marked by famine and misery. It is not much to go on, but it propels sweet Faith Cross away from her rural Dixie and her lost love Alpha Omega Holmes to the lower depths of the Windy City, and from a soulless middle-class existence to the interior of her memories and her hopes. Here, in this quest for the Good Thing, we have the human adventure. We also have the story of Faith Cross - a metaphysical yarn spun from pure feeling; from sex, love, suffering, beauty, and truth. Set to the music of the spheres, haunted by a philosopher’s spirit, conjured up from dreams and disasters, the adventure-strewn path to Faith’s Good Thing lies before us and powerfully beckons us to follow. Trust Charles Johnson, a storyteller with a sorcerer’s touch, to realize the moment of truth. In this remarkable, relentlessly fascinating first novel, he blends superstition, folk tale, and sharply edged realism to bring us closer to that Good Thing than perhaps even he will ever know.

CHARLES JOHNSON received the National Book Award for MIDDLE PASSAGE in 1990. Currently the Pollock Professor of English at the University of Washington, he lives in Seattle.


Check for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.