Let the Lion Eat Straw by Ellease Southerland

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To mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of its publication, Amistad is honored to reissue in hardcover Let the Lion Eat Straw, a dazzling, hymnlike novel that tells the story of Abeba Williams, whose mother abandons the poverty and despair of the South -- and in the process her daughter -- for opportunities up North. In the absence of her mother, Abeba clings to Mamma Habblesham, a woman with enviable reserves of love and hope. Their affection for each other seems boundless -- until Abeba's mother returns to take her daughter to Brooklyn. As she grows up, her exceptional musical talent promises to be an avenue of escape. But a handsome young singer distracts her, and opportunities that once seemed so close begin to fall away. Now married with children, Abeba fights to maintain the dignity of her family.

Replete with lyricism that lingers long after the reader has finished the last page, Let the Lion Eat Straw is a revelation of the glory in apparently ordinary lives.


About Ellease Southerland

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Ellease Southerland is professor of African Literature at Pace University in New York.
Published April 1, 1979 by Scribner. 181 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships. Fiction

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Angela dreams of Abeba playing piano in a concert hall, but Abeba, now grown, marries preaching brother Daniel, whose voice, ""smooth purple, seemed to come inside her heart."" Bad days again when awful shocks--Abeba's confession about rape by her uncle;

Apr 01 1979 | Read Full Review of Let the Lion Eat Straw

Publishers Weekly

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A commemorative 25th-anniversary edition of Let the Lion Eat Straw by Ellease Southerland (now Ebele Oseye) tells the story of Abeba, a quietly intelligent, eager-to-please girl wrenched from her Southern mammy when her mother summons her to Brooklyn, where she's cobbled together a better life.

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