A Drop of Patience
William Melvin Kelley
At the age of five, a blind African-American boy is handed over to a brutal state home. Here Ludlow Washington will suffer for eleven years, until his prodigious musical talent provides him an unlikely ticket back into the world.
The property of a band, playing for down-and-outs in a southern dive, Ludlow’s pioneering flair will take him to New York and the very top of the jazz scene – where his personal demons will threaten to drag him back down to the bottom.
A Drop of Patience is the story of a gifted and damaged man entirely set apart – by blindness, by race, by talent – who must wrestle with adversity and ambition to generate the acceptance and self-worth that have always eluded him.
Kelley is as good on disability as he is on race, and life for a blind person is skillfully depicted in his novel . . . There is plenty to recommend in its moving, honest account of a young black man trying to find his way in a hostile world . . . A thoughtful, inventive writer who was well before his time. -- Irish Times
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