Plan B

Plan B

Book - 1993
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Blackwell North Amer
Tomsson Black, political visionary, business genius, and underground revolutionary, plots to avenge injustice by instigating racial turmoil. The roots of racism extend far back into his ancestry, and persecution and suffering have affected many generations of his family. Tomsson's own misfortunes are the impetus for him to found a criminal underworld whose ultimate purpose is the overflow of white society.
This novel, the history of Tomsson Black and an indictment of racism in America, ends in apocalypse. It is Chester Himes's ultimate statement about the destructive power of racism and his own personal fantasy of how the American Negro, through calculated acts of violence and martyrdom, could destroy the unequal system pervading American life. However, after reaching an ideological impasse, Himes, one of the angriest writers in the black protest movement, left this novel unfinished.
After his death in Spain in 1984, a rumor persisted that he had left a final, unfinished Harlem story, in which he literally destroys both his Harlem backdrop and his heroes in a violent racial cataclysm.
The manuscript, entitled Plan B, is that novel. It was edited and published in France, where it was widely hailed as an unfinished masterpiece by readers and critics alike.
This new edition, appearing for the first time in the United States, includes an introduction by Michel Fabre (The Sorbonne) and Robert E. Skinner (Xavier University), who have prepared Plan B for publication.

Publisher: Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, [1993]
Copyright Date: ©1993
ISBN: 9780878056453
Branch Call Number: FICTION HIMES
Characteristics: xxx, 203 pages ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: Skinner, Robert E. 1948-
Fabre, Michel


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Nov 14, 2016

"He (the psychiatrist) testified that in his opinion, such homicidal compulsions in American blacks were easily understandable in the framework of the existing structure of American society--in fact it was inevitable. Blacks had always considered white police as their major enemy."
Chester Himes was best know for his Harlem-set detective novels featuring the duo of Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed. These were more than just crime novels though, these were novels about the deep racial divides in America, an issue he addressed more directly in some of his non-genre novels. "Plan B," his final unfinished novel, brings together his two great themes. It features his iconic detectives, but they are only supporting characters. It's more about a criminal turned revolutionary name Tomsson Black and a race war the erupts. It's a very pessimistic and angry novel; it's nothing less than a racial apocalypse in which no one is spared. Himes died in 1984 and this wasn't published until 1993, with an introduction by two professors. It's innocuous title belies the unsettling rage and power of this criminally neglected novel.


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