Engaging dialogue and gripping action contoured with cultural details and historical insight recreate a transformative moment in the African American experience. The global setting is World War II, and the impact of racial repression and segregation is illuminated in the adventures of characters that ultimately converge in the imaginary community of Wimbey’s Corner.
The provocative, erotic portrayal of desire and identity in the character Wayne Hunter is reminiscent of Richard Wright’s Bigger Thomas of a similar era and genre. Wayne’s extraordinary physique defines and sabotages his masculinity, while his primal, sexual appetite undermines his consciousness and seals his fate. The shocking ending to Wimbey’s Corner is a disturbing resolution to the irreconcilable double consciousness of a community nestled in the distorted shadows of wealthy, white America.
David Covin has written a fascinating novel that reveals and explains certain unresolved consequences lurking in racial memory.
Melba Joyce Boyd, author of Wrestling with the Muse and Death Dance of a Butterfly.
With a talent for vivid prose, David Covin interweaves stories of quietly desperate, often quirky, yet invariably resolute black individuals whose lives converge at Wimbey’s Corner.
A small “dark colony” precariously ensconced in an otherwise exclusive neighborhood of white millionaires in the north shore Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, Wimbey’s Corner is Eskeridge Wimbey’s supreme act of defiance against white privilege. He devotes the bulk of his vast wealth to the Maroon Foundation, dedicated to ensuring that “a festering enclave of coons” own that small piece of land in perpetuum. The central action of the novel takes place after Wimbey residents have evolved their own sense of mission: abhorring ostentation, keeping one another’s secrets, and dealing with crimes without police intervention.
Like many good tales, Wimbey’s Corner is dominated by the history of its villain, Wayne Hunter. After killing a man in self-defense, he flees to the meanest streets of Chicago. More a tragically flawed figure than an embodiment of pure evil, his story is a bizarre inversion of Frederick Douglass’s triumphant cultivation of literacy, his downfall an uneasy affirmation of the ruthless solidarity and self-reliance of Wimbey’s Corner.
Chauncey Ridley, Professor of English, CSU Sacramento.