Joe Christmas does not know whether he is black or white. Faulkner makes of Joe's tragedy a powerful indictment of racism; at the same time Joe's life is a study of the divided self and becomes a symbol of 20th century man.
eMusic Review 0
One of the most harrowing portraits of post-Reconstruction race relations ever penned.
A pregnant girl wanders from town to town, projecting an almost pathological cheerfulness. A sociopath of mixed blood survives a fundamentalist upbringing; his romance with an erudite local girl brings him no closer to learning his origins. William Faulkner wrote more structurally dizzying novels than Light in August, but none which exposed the gnarled roots of what post-Reconstruction race relations looked like when messianic fervor got tangled with it; this is what The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying only stooped to suggest. Scott Brick’s reading is particularly effective when reading Joe Christmas’ dialogue; the listener tumbles into the chasm created by the distance between Christmas’ monstrous deeds and Brick’s measured tones.