Wednesday, June 20, 2007

To Hell with dying - Alice Walker

This is another story I downloaded from Miette's brilliant site, and it caused me no little embarrassment as I walked to work this morning.

For those who don't know it, this is one of Alice Walker's first stories. Although written as an adult story, it has since been repackaged as a children's story (despite the title which, in the US at least, is likely to be controversial, I'd have thought). It is about Mr Sweet, an ageing alcoholic blues musician who is much beloved by the children of the neighborhood because of his eccentric ways. It's essentially a story about the redemptive nature of love, with the children bringing Mr Sweet back from the brink of death on many occasions by jumping on his bed and smothering him with love and kisses.

Call me a sentimental old fool - and, yes, the ending was even predictable as well - but I was walking through Tesco this morning on my way to work, listening to this, with tears rolling down my face. It's a beautifully understated piece of writing.

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