"a chronicle of life in one of the many slave camps of the rural American South in the early 20th century"

Historically accurate, A Seeping Wound is a dark story of human cruelty, and an ode to the preeminence of the human spirit...
A Seeping Wound by Darryl Wimberley

The voice of Martha LongFoot takes readers west of Florida’s Suwannee River on a journey of trial and redemption that spans the Jazz Age and Jim Crow, from the comfortable suburbs of New York to the lawless work camps of Florida’s primeval forest.

“Darryl Wimberley’s A Seeping Wound takes the reader into the lawless, violent realm of Florida’s turpentine camps of the 1920s. Captain Henry Riggs oversees the Blue Turtle camp, a place where forced labor, prostitution and punishment in “the box” define the lives of anyone unlucky enough to end up there. Scott Hampton risks his life searching for his missing sister, Sarah, and her husband, Franklin Breaux, both held prisoner by the vicious Riggs. The fate of Hampton, the Breauxs, and others depends on the courage and daring of Martha LongFoot, a Muscogee woman who has herself spent most of her life as a slave in Riggs’s camp. In this meticulously researched narrative, Wimberley offers us not only a detailed view of a portion of Florida history, but also a carefully drawn and credible set of characters such as Martha who bring this past to life.” — Catherine Rainwater, Professor of English literature at St. Edward’s University, Austin, Texas

 

2016 FINALIST of the GOETHE Awards for post-1750 Historical Fiction >>>

Review by John Singer, FOREWORD REVIEWS

A Seeping Wound is a dark story of human cruelty, and an ode to the preeminence of the human spirit.

Direct Link to Foreword >>> here…

In his arresting novel, A Seeping Wound, Darryl Wimberley forcefully chronicles life in one of the many slave camps of the rural American South in the early tFOREWORD REVEwentieth century—a place of persistent violence and evil, though it also hosts moments of human kindness.

Martha LongFoot is the story’s narrator, a half Muscogee Indian raised in the camp. She is also the camp’s medicine woman, a hard-won status that keeps her safe from the sexual violence that pervades the place. Martha comes across as a character with dimension who is worthy of respect. Her robust narrative, enhanced by her powerful vocabulary and occasional biblical references, is compelling, if it sometimes strains credulity. She begins the book angry and distrustful of white people, and ends the tale by saving white folks who are unjustly enslaved. Martha brings some closure to the experience by asking “Why does one wound heal while another festers?”

Other characters in A Seeping Wound are less complex, including the ruthless Captain Riggs, who runs the turpentine camp. This man, and the thugs working for him, are predictably violent, uncaring, cruel, and unchanging. Veteran Prescott Hampton, though, shines, and he is set up in the narrative as a contrast to Martha, as a camp outsider. He comes from New York searching for his sister and brother-in-law, who are enslaved in the turpentine camp. Where Martha is poor, uneducated, and surprisingly literate, Hampton is educated and comes from a financially comfortable family headed by his father, a journalist.

But, Hampton and Martha are commonly flawed—each suffers from a seeping wound that must be healed. Wimberley adroitly uses this wound image as both a cause of pain and a source of productivity, whether in a pine tree being tapped for sap or a human gashed by the vicissitudes of life.

Historically accurate, A Seeping Wound is a dark story of human cruelty, and an ode to the preeminence of the human spirit.

DARRYL WIMBERLEY has been recognized for both novels noir and literary work. A Tinker’s Damn won the ForeWord Award for “Best Literary Novel” in 2001. The King of Colored Town was the first novel to garner the Willie Morris Award for Fiction in 2007. Darryl writes, works, and lives with his family in Austin.

ISBN 9789176370360
314 p, B&W 5 x 8 in or 203 x 127 mm Perfect Bound on Creme w/Gloss Lam

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