Books: Love Story

LET THE LION EAT STRAW by Ellease Southerland Scribners; 181 pages; $7.95

The most important thing for a black writer, Novelist Toni Morrison once said, is not to explain but to "bear witness, to record." Ellease Southerland's fine first novel bears witness to the world of her fathers and mothers, a world centered on the family, the community, the Lord. Southerland's account is lyrical and as unabashedly emotional as old-time religion. There is, for example, the author's description of a "testimonial" by the Reverend Brother Daniel A. Torch, given one hot August Sunday...

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