RARA-AVIS: Willeford

Ron Clinton (r-and-jclinton@email.msn.com)
Thu, 30 Dec 1999 12:41:22 -0800

> By contrast, I have read every Willeford book the same
> day I got it. This guy must have been the most
> compelling writer in the entire genre. Nobody writes
> like him.

I just finished PICK-UP by Willeford - a very dreary and depressing look at a couple of life's failures and throwaways. But, still, very engrossing...kind of like watching a car wreck. A question, though, for those more familiar with Willeford's work than me: the last line of the novel, where he announces his race as "Negro". Perhaps I didn't understand the significance of this proclamation...was there more to it than that? My instant reaction was, "Umm, okay...*and*?" It seemed to have been posed as an almost O'Henry like twist - yet it didn't seem to me to offer anything to the book's prior storyline nor cast any new light on what had come before it. Did I miss something? Or am I just making too much of what was simply meant as a throwaway last line?

Ron Clinton

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