The absence of love in his book will not confuse black readers. Just as the Blues is expressed as a tone of nostalgia and irony, the book's very existence is an act of love. For while it seems that Wright is interested only in escaping from his home, there is ambiguity in his flight. He is, as an artist, obsessed by his own origins. The fact that he finally left the United States for good did not mean that he was in spiritual, as well as physical, exile. As a novelist, or a fictional historian, he had to have distance in order to view his subject with some measure of sanity and proportion. Consequently he wrote of urban violence endemic to America with a clarity that shocked the nation. He didn't ask anyone to make excuses for his attitudes. They spoke for themselves, and many Americans primarily white were appalled by his work and were unable to face its truth. One reviewer for the
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