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by Ihsan Bracy
Cool Grove Press (Feb 25, 2008)
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Paths of Sanctuary is Ihsan Bracy s second work of fiction. Traversing pathways discovered by writers such as Jean Toomer (style), J. California Cooper (style), Edward P. Jones (period) and Zora Neale Hurston (style and period), Ihsan Bracy has advanced that literary lineage by creating a permeable border between dimensions with rewarding effect. The author applies intractable laws of cause and effect to further explore outcomes outside the proscribed parameters of worldly human experience. He has employed elements of magical realism, neo-hoodoo, speculative fiction, science fiction and automatic writing to achieve this. For both reader and creative writer, the author demonstrates a fresh take on the past, present and future. Paths of Sanctuary is a magic-realism novel which traces the life of an African-American family from enslavement in 1786 through post reconstruction to its eventual settling in Sanctuary, a small mountain village situated geographically just below the first gates of heaven. The novel centers on the forbidden commingling of the people of clay (humans) with the people of fire (angels) and the friction that occurs whenever two bordering cultures co-exist. Told in an almost lyrical narrative, Paths of Sanctuary explores the hidden complexities discovered within family, including the trials found within infidelity, friendship and love. This novel works with both hands, a visionary work with a command of craft that ensures Ihsan Bracy’s literary legacy, work that acclaims the craftsman a master and makes it all worthwhile. An exquisite post modern folkology, the novel every writer wants to write and every reader wants to read. Arthur Flowers, De Mojo Blues, Another Good Lovin Blues, Confessions of a 21st Century Conjure Man ihsan bracy is a visionary wordsmith. In a story that spans both time and the imagination, he has managed to capture the most painful and yet the most beautiful of our experience, while gifting us with an epic, bordercrossing story that transcends the conventional, and leaves readers lifted. Thank you ihsan, for journeying on. Paths of Sanctuary is well worth the wait. Sheree Renée Thomas, editor of the Dark Matter Series Bracy is a writer unafraid to enter the deepest night to find the brighter light within. In his invention, I see our own as Black Americans, a winding road through an emotional landscape, taking us from our rough arrival to new knowledge of self and destiny. Terence Taylor, Dark Dreams, Voices from the Other Side, Whispers in the Night, Bite Marks