By Leon Forrest
Within the wake of his watershed novel Divine Days, Leon wooded area started a good extra formidable venture, a set of novellas that he was hoping could be the end result of his life's paintings and of the fictitious international of woodland County, which he had created in his 5 previous novels. even if slowed by means of devastating disorder in 1997, Forrest's hard work on his masterwork persisted; whereas the radical assumed a spotlight tighter than he had initially meant, Forrest felt prior to his premature loss of life that he had succeeded in bringing a unified imaginative and prescient to the manuscript of Meteor within the Madhouse. Meteor within the Madhouse is a unique made of 5 interconnected novellas framed by means of an account of the final days within the lifetime of journalist Joubert Antoine Jones, a personality immortalized in Divine Days. The important courting within the novel is that of Joubert and his adoptive family and fellow author Leonard Foster. a logo of the fight for freedom and equality, Leonard's look for fact -- major him into political agitation, cultish faith, and eventual loss of life from drug dependancy -- immerses Joubert in emotions of guilt and frustration whilst he's not able to avoid wasting his buddy and mentor. As Joubert displays on Leonard's dying, he's either haunted and rejuvenated via the characters and episodes in their shared previous. We meet the ladies in Joubert's existence: foster mom Lucasta Jones, whose aesthetic and erotic strength is going unfulfilled; Lucasta's sister Gussie, irrepressible in her zest for all times; and Jessie Ma Fay conflict Barker, recognized for her indomitable spirit and largesse. Joubert recollects his visits with Leonard and Leonard's extra breakdown within the face of funny thoughts from their formative years: the habit of theDeep Brown research Eggheads who inhabited the splendidly diversified rooming condominium close to Joubert's alma mater; and the characters fre- quenting Fountain's residence of the useless -- a funeral domestic by way of day and a brothel via evening. As Joubert and his kinfolk take on the forces of affection, lust, alcohol, medicinal drugs, violence, and kinfolk, Joubert turns into the emblem of the soul's look for authenticity. With introductions by way of editors John G. Cawelti and Merle Drown, Meteor within the Madhouse emerges as Forrest's so much shiny portrayal of the good range of city African American lifestyles.