By James McBride
Within the days sooner than the Civil conflict, a runaway slave named Liz Spocott breaks unfastened from her captors and escapes into the labyrinthine swamps of Maryland’s jap shore, surroundings free a drama of violence and wish between slave catchers, plantation proprietors, watermen, runaway slaves, and unfastened blacks. Liz is close to dying, wracked by way of traumatic visions of the long run, and armed with “the Code,” a fiercely guarded cryptic technique of conversation for slaves at the run. Liz’s flight and her desires of day after today will thrust all these close to her towards a mysterious, redemptive fate.
Filled with wealthy, actual details—much of the tale is drawn from historic events—and instructed in McBride’s signature lyrical type, track but Sung is a narrative of tragic triumph, violent judgements, and unforeseen kindness.
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Additional resources for Song Yet Sung
Send me, send us, we are here. There were two plans of attack to catch Aidid. The first was to capture him while he was traveling in his convoy of cars. The second was to catch him when he was inside a building. That was it, either A or B. It made good sense to me and seemed like a very simple plan: the man would be either inside or outside. We would take him out whenever and wherever he showed himself. The task force was broken down into three separate groups: the assault force, the blocking force, and the ground convoy.
It was a moment of beauty. The round impacted and we heard no more firing. Low tide in the Black Sea, again. Berendsen had done well. I turned to check the west side of the street just as Sergeant Galentine was shot in the hand. Again, the time trick suspended all other events at that second, and all I saw was Scott’s hand turn red as the round hit. He had been shot in his thumb. It didn’t look life-threatening, but it seemed pretty bad from my position. As he moved across the street to my position, I could see that his thumb was almost completely severed.
Many wax philosophical about the thought of combat and all that it entails, but I’ve never met a guy who, deep down, didn’t want to go for the test. Why else would men subject themselves to the endless hours of training? Why would they put up with the long periods of separation from loved ones? Why would they suffer for the low pay and the stress? Why would they push themselves to the extreme day after day? I can think of only one reason: to go to war, to get a shot at the title, to pass the final exam—whatever cliché one uses to describe battle.