Who's Online

We have 35 guests and no members online

Democracy Now!

Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! is an independent daily TV & radio news program, hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. We provide daily global news headlines, in-depth interviews and investigative reports without any advertisements or government funding. Our programming shines a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lifts up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. Democracy Now! is live weekdays at 8am ET and available 24/7 through our website and podcasts.

Words Without Borders

Words Without Borders

Words Without Borders:The Online Magazine of International Literature
  • From the Translator: On Translating Yoss and Anabel Enríquez Piñeiro
  • WWB EVENT — Back to the Future: Cuban Sci-fi Now
  • From the Translator: The Song Remains the Same?
  • “Orthokostá” by Thanassis Valtinos
  • WWB Weekend: A Man Booker-Inspired Menu
  • Remembering Lakshmi Holmström
  • The City and the Writer: In Jerusalem with Liana Badr
  • WWB Weekend: Before Eurovision, Havana Bolero
  • From the Translator: Fictions of the Cuban Diamond

New York Review of Books

The New York Review of Books

Recent items from
  • Wittgenstein’s Handles
    When Wittgenstein returned to philosophy, the idea that drove him beyond all others was that the nature of language had been misunderstood by philosophers. They were better conceived of as a part of the activity of life. As such, they were more...
  • DNA: ‘The Power of the Beautiful Experiment’
    Matthew Cobb’s absorbing book Life’s Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code serves as a useful primer for those interested in the brave new world of genetic intervention made possible by the rise of biotechnology. But Cobb’s...
  • Shakespeare: War Is King
    Barbara Gaines, the founding director of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, in a sequence she has called “Tug of War,” has grouped six of Shakespeare's so-called "history plays" into two sequences, the first being performed this spring, the second in...
  • The Awful Diseases on the Way
    Sonia Shah’s Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond should be required reading for anyone working in global health. It should also alert a much wider audience to the ways that many kinds of the microorganisms called...
  • Why the Very Poor Have Become Poorer
    The most obvious explanation for the increase in extreme poverty between 1996 and 2011 is that jobs were harder to find in 2011, but that is only half the story.
  • The Kurds: A Divided Future?
    The long-term aspirations of the Kurds are oddly similar to those of the jihadists they are fighting: both seem equally intent on erasing the old borders of the post-Ottoman order. When I drew this somewhat audacious parallel in conversation with a...
  • When High Technology Meets Immortality
    In Zero K Don DeLillo has found the perfect physical repository for his oracular visions, his end-time reveries, his balladry of dread.
  • China’s Missing Children: An Exchange
    To the Editors: Nicholas Kristof’s thoughtful review of two books about China’s one-child policy is marred by his repetition of three myths: that Mao Zedong’s opposition prevented effective family-planning efforts until after his death, that...
  • Primo Levi’s Handrail
    To the Editors: Replying to a reader who encourages him to read my 1999 essay “Primo Levi’s Last Moments,” Tim Parks describes the essay as “an extended exercise in wishful thinking”: since many believe that Primo Levi committed suicide,...

The Neglected Books Page Where forgotten books are remembered
  • Carobeth Laird, First Published at Age 80

    “Never before have I heard of an exiting new literary talent bursting forth at the age of 80. But here, I am convinced, we have one,” Tom Wolfe in Harper’s Bookletter in 1975. He was remarking upon the publication of Carobeth Laird’s first book, a memoir of her marriage to anthropologist John Peabody Harrington, Encounter... Read more

    The post ...

  • On Pilgrimage: a Dialogue with Kate Macdonald

    About the time I was well into reading through Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage a couple of months ago, I discovered that Kate Macdonald, Visiting Fellow at the Department of English Literature at the University of Reading and fellow Brussels expat, was also working through the series and posting about it on her blog. So I asked... Read more

    The post On

  • An Interview with Veronica Makowsky about Isa Glenn

    A few months ago, I was contacted by Professor Veronica Makowsky of the University of Connecticut, who is researching the life and work of Isa Glenn, a forgotten woman writer of the 1920s and 1930s whose novel Transport I reviewed here some years ago. Dr. Makowsky is something of an expert on neglected women writers,... Read more

    The post An Interview with

  • “To a Poet Yet Unborn,” from Collected Poems, by Abbie Huston Evans

    To a Poet Yet Unborn Attempt what’s perpendicular. Scale what’s impossible. Try the knife edge between two voids; look into both abysses. Bring back some word of wordlessness if strength enough is in you. Write doggedly of dizzying things; with small implacable digits Delimit space to fit the brain, that it may bulk and be.... Read more

    The post ...

  • Abbie Huston Evans, Poet

    Asked to name that book published in the last quarter of a century that she believed to have been the most undeservedly neglected for an American Scholar feature on “Neglected Books of the Past 25 Years,”, Louise Bogan, in one of her last letters, nominated “the poetry of Abbie Huston Evans.” Chances are few of... Read more

    The post Abbie Huston

  • A Martini on the Other Table, by Joyce Elbert (1963)

    “Joyce Elbert had just turned thirty and divorced her second husband when she wrote this astonishing first novel … a daring story of a single woman’s frantic search for love in a loose living, free-wheeling world,” blares the cover of the Bantam paperback original of A Martini on the Other Table. I think I’ve seen... Read more

    The post ...

  • Gomer Pyle, from Talking into the Typewriter: Selected Letters (1973-1983), by Christina Stead

                          To Ettore Rolla 18th April 1975 … I have been viewing an old American serial (on TV) called Gomer Pyle. He’s a marine, kind-hearted goof, neat and able but always causes trouble, has the best heart, loveliest southem accent in the States; is a... Read more

    The post Gomer Pyle,

  • Village Life Through a Villager’s Eyes, from March Moonlight, by Dorothy Richardson

    … I asked her, myself considering it for the first time, to imagine herself spending her life in a village, amongst people all known to her and many of them her relatives; to picture the experience accumulated in the consciousness of a village child, even before school pumps in its supply of easily forgotten knowledge... Read more

    The post Village Life

  • March Moonlight, 13th Chapter of Pilgrimage, by Dorothy Richardson (1967)

    For nearly 30 years, Dimple Hill (Amazon) was the last chapter in Dorothy Richardson’s novel series, Pilgrimage. That was not Richardson’s plan. Even as the 1938 collected edition of Pilgrimage was being distributed by J. W. Dent in the U. K. and Alfred A. Knopf in the U. S., she was continuing to write, still... Read more

    The post March Moonlight,

  • Dimple Hill, 12th Chapter of Pilgrimage, by Dorothy Richardson (1938)

    Twenty-four years after launching Pilgrimage with Pointed Roofs, Dorothy Richardson found herself struggling to progress with its twelfth volume, Dimple Hill (Amazon). The sales of her books had dwindled into the hundreds with each succeeding volume. Over sixty, she was thirty years away from the experiences she was trying to recreate through her fictional counterpart,... Read more

    The post ...

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.