Some Feet Not Meant for Shoes - Novel Excerpt
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Another reviewer added: "Pam Klein seems like an extraordinary writer, style-wise, and really imaginative and courageous. However, I can see why traditional publishing was hesitant; it's very outside the box and very long and obviously deals with political and social stuff in a direct, perhaps discomfiting way. And publishing is one of the most conservative arts industries out there. But I'm glad it found a home--the packaging is fantastic."
As a narrative, Some Feet Not Meant for Shoes is intricate and powerful, it is sexy with a heavy dose of the spiritual. As described, the book is "told from multiple characters’ points of view and in the first person, Norah’s unconventional tale progresses toward the awakening of her past life as an African slave, through which racism, intolerance and greed echo still. Split between cultures, colors, beliefs and even lifetimes, Norah’s perspective on race and the history of hate is the ultimate catalyst for her transformation. Hers is a magical journey of loss, discovery and love that meanders naturally like a river across space and time."
So yes, this is the first time in memory AlterNet has featured fiction. I'm proud that we are offering a taste of this unique and challenging work. But I have a feeling this won't the last piece of fiction for the AlterNet reader. For storytelling is far too important to keep separate from the social and political forces that we normally cover.
The book can be purchased at Amazon and other online sites.
Malaise Norah, 1997, St. Lucia
I am walking down a wide dirt road toward the marina in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, a charming island known for some of the sweetest bananas in all the Caribbean. Figs, they call them here. Falcon and Fabian walk beside me, smoking weed that’s rolled in a dried banana leaf. My husband is pushing our 2-year-old daughter in the stroller and the both of them have fallen behind. The sun has already set, and the evening sky is a deep inky blue. We are meeting travelers from England at a restaurant on the water, a printer, his wife and two teenage girls, both of whom are natural blondes, which Falcon and Fabian confess to adore. Falcon is a Rastafarian who lives on the beach in Rodney Bay, makes his living off tourists as a pirate of sorts, recording dub and dancehall onto cheap cassettes, $10 a tape. Yes, he’s a Rastafarian with a boombox. Some of them even have got cars. You might know they are Rasta by the Lion of Judah bumper stickers.
Falcon hangs out around the Candyo Inn, a small, St. Lucian-owned hotel in the style of a traditional island home, just a short walk from the beach. It is white, the hotel, with emerald awnings and lots of lattice, fits in well with the local neighborhood. “The tourists here are friendly,” he tells me, “like you,” and so are the hotel employees. Fabian is Falcon’s oldest friend, a woodcarver who uses fine mahogany from the lush forest to craft plaques, statutes, bowls and bird feeders that he sells at the marketplace in Castries, the island’s capital city. “People off the cruise ships like Bob Marley,” Fabian tells me. “It’s the dreads,” says Falcon, rather proudly, flicking back his own dreads as if they were something quite special, something way better than, say, a Porsche. Well they are quite substantial and mane-like, as dreadlocks seem to go.
Fabian offers me a hit, blows some smoke my way. “It good,” he says. “Real good.” I take it, glancing over my shoulder to be certain my husband cannot see. He wouldn’t approve. No, he would disapprove. It is illegal, he would say, and you could get yourself thrown into a St. Lucian jail. Then what would you do? He has a point. Vincent always has a point. He can suck the life out of everything with his points.