It all begins with the change of name when a history professor named as Cornelius Jones change his name and no calls himself the John Woman. No one knows what the purpose of this drastic change is but as we continue to go much further there is a sure smell of crime. The crime is perhaps the most hideous one in all of Walter Mosley’s works. Cornelius share a background that he does not like to share with many people as his father was a black who married an American woman.
He took the job of his father in the theatre when his father disappeared from the scene all of a sudden and was taken to bed because of illness perhaps. People assume that it was his father who told him some secrets about the narrative. After the disappearance of his mother Cornelius joins the teaching profession in the end. He starts teaching something that was delivered to him by his father and as his new name starts getting fame the stories from the past come into play. Several things from the past and the people around his family start haunting him suddenly.
As the story goes on the things become more and more messy, Dion Graham’s narration too become corrosive after the middle and moves along the same pattern until the climax is approached. The novels like Devil in a Blue Dress and Down the River unto the Sea can also be read along with this brilliant piece of art. The listener can get a comparative look at the different works of the writer and thus the variations and similarities can be enjoyed fully.