The Power of One (Young Readers Condensed Edition)

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Tolkien, hip-hop, comics, science-fiction genre stuff—help you do that? I just drank that stuff. All that stuff is so key. Certain things come to mind. The Power of One: A Novel (): Bryce Courtenay: Books

And so, a large part of my job was to make slavery new. And part of making it new was new names. Talk to me about the considerations you had in deploying each one. Coates: Well, you know what I had to get to, I had to figure out that this is a book inspired by a certain time period but it has to be readable to the people of today.

So I was, more than anything, trying to evoke certain things but not necessarily be restricted by them. Not necessarily the exact thing, but the feeling. How did that affect the long incubation period of this book? Coates: I started this book before everything. I was talking to our mutual friend [editor] Chris [Jackson] last night because he was the first one who suggested writing fiction.

I would read fiction and not understand how this person made me feel like this actually happened and I really was there. And so it took a while, man.

Coates: Definitely, and also just thinking about the history and having to sit with the history for long periods of time. I mean, that was just the essential. It just was. I posted some stuff on Instagram this morning and what it was, was a lot of the documents I was reading.

ISBN 13: 9780440239130

What did it feel like? Getting to a place where you could ask that question. And answer it. In the research, did you ever learn a fact that seemed too fantastical to be true? Coates: I felt like one of the biggest things was, I was shocked about how durable notions of family were.

There is a notion among us, and among the wider public, that slavery destroyed traditional ideas—or not even traditional— healthy ideas of family. And I was shocked by how much of a myth [that] was. Everybody from black nationalists to white conservatives to white liberals say that. An absolute, absolute lie.

The Power of One (Young Reader's Edition)

That was a big one. I feel like the tension between collective and individual memory is a through-line throughout most of all your work. But also, I feel like something that really comes into sharp focus in The Water Dancer is that memory and history are two separate, distinct things. Can you talk about the mechanisms by which those two things become distinct? And so, memory is the key in the book. Coates: You got to.

I had to do something like that. Did you worry about anachronism in that sequence All that shit was actually going on. I read about that before I even decided to put that in the book! And [author Daniel Walker Howe] talks about all these utopian movements. I knew all of that stuff was actually going on. You hear about the early feminist movements and think that was definitely happening. In they all came one after another; some shyly, some boldly, some gracefully, some awkwardly, some pushing, some pulling; in they all came, anyhow and everyhow. Away they all went, twenty couple at once; hands half round and back again the other way; down the middle and up again; round and round in various stages of affectionate grouping; old top couple always turning up in the wrong place; new top couple starting off again, as soon as they got there; all top couples at last, and not a bottom one to help them.

When this result was brought about, old Fezziwig, clapping his hands to stop the dance, cried out, "Well done! There were more dances, and there were forfeits , and more dances, and there was cake, and there was negus , and there was a great piece of Cold Roast, and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled, and there were mince-pies, and plenty of beer. But the great effect of the evening came after the Roast and Boiled, when the fiddler struck up " Sir Roger de Coverley.

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Top couple, too; with a good stiff piece of work cut out for them; three or four and twenty pair of partners; people who were not to be trifled with; people who would dance, and had no notion of walking. But if they had been twice as many, -- four times, -- old Fezziwig would have been a match for them and so would Mrs. As to her, she was worthy to be his partner in every sense of the term A positive light appeared to issue from Fezziwig's calves.

They shone in every part of the dance. You couldn't have predicted, at any given time, what would become of 'em next. And when old Fezziwig and Mrs.

Fezziwig had gone all through the dance, -- advance and retire, turn your partner, bow and courtesy, corkscrew, thread the needle, and back again to your place, -- Fezziwig " cut ," -- cut so deftly, that he appeared to wink with his legs. When the clock struck eleven this domestic ball broke up.

Fezziwig took their stations, one on either side the door, and, shaking hands with every person individually as he or she went out, wished him or her a Merry Christmas. When everybody had retired but the two 'prentices, they did the same to them; and thus the cheerful voices died away, and the lads were left to their beds which were under a counter in the back shop. He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money, -- three or four perhaps. Is that so much that he deserves this praise? He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil.

Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up: what then? The happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a fortune. I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now. That's all. This was not addressed to Scrooge, or to any one whom he could see, but it produced an immediate effect.

For again he saw himself. He was older now; a man in the prime of life. He was not alone, but sat by the side of a fair young girl in a black dress, in whose eyes there were tears. Another idol has displaced me; and if it can comfort you in time to come, as I would have tried to do, I have no just cause to grieve. You fear the world too much. I have seen your nobler aspirations fall off one by one, until the master-passion, Gain, engrosses you Have I not?

Even if I have grown so much wiser, what then? I am not changed towards you. Have I ever sought release from our engagement? In a changed nature; in an altered spirit; in another atmosphere of life; another Hope as its great end. If you were free to-day, to-morrow, yesterday, can even I believe that you would choose a dowerless girl; or, choosing her, do I not know that your repentance and regret would surely follow? I do; and I release you. With a full heart, for the love of him you once were.

Leave me! Take me back. Haunt me no longer! As he struggled with the Spirit he was conscious of being exhausted, and overcome by an irresistible drowsiness; and, further, of being in his own bed-room. He had barely time to reel to bed before he sank into a heavy sleep. There was no doubt about that.

But it and his own adjoining sitting-room, into which he shuffled in his slippers, attracted by a great light there, had undergone a surprising transformation. The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green, that it looked a perfect grove. The leaves of holly, mistletoe, and ivy reflected back the light, as if many little mirrors had been scattered there; and such a mighty blaze went roaring up the chimney, as that petrifaction of a hearth had never known in Scrooge's time, or Marley's, or for many and many a winter season gone.

Heaped upon the floor, to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes , and great bowls of punch. In easy state upon this couch there sat a Giant glorious to see; who bore a glowing torch, in shape not unlike Plenty's horn, and who raised it high to shed its light on Scrooge, as he came peeping round the door. I am the Ghost of Christmas Present.

Look upon me! You have never seen the like of me before! Spirit, conduct me where you will. I went forth last night on compulsion, and I learnt a lesson which is working now.


To-night, if you have ought to teach me, let me profit by it. The room and its contents all vanished instantly, and they stood in the city streets upon a snowy Christmas morning. Scrooge and the Ghost passed on, invisible, straight to Scrooge's clerk's; and on the threshold of the door the Spirit smiled, and stopped to bless Bob Cratchit's dwelling with the sprinklings of his torch. Think of that!