"The Conjure Woman"--By C.W. Chesnutt. Some weeks ago we had this book of a half-dozen or more tales of "Ol’ Aunt Peggy, the Conjure Woman," as told by an old plantation negro. It looked attractive, and, as is often the case, was laid aside for more careful reading. It richly deserves a notice, and if the reader will take up the book when mind and body are both tired, he will find rest and refreshment in as delightful supernaturalism as ever came from the old plantation. Among the best of the stories are "The Gophered Grape Vine" and "The Gray Wolf’s Haint." The author in a measure spoils the romance by divulging the fact that old Julius, the venerable darky, had a reason for his "gopher" stories that was somewhat selfish. But the reader will not fail to be interested in the "ol’ conjure woman" as she "wuks" her roots, and Po’ Sandy becomes a tree, Primus turns into a white mule, and Hot Foot Hannibal, by the agency of a doll baby with red-pepper feet is brought low. Uncle Julius’ skepticism cannot rob one of the belief that this was the real religion of the old plantation--the gopher "mixtry," not the overseer’s lash, the dreaded power.
The chapters contain the African revelation of horrid Confederate plots, now out of date. (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co.)
Review of The Conjure Woman, in "Current Literature," The Daily Inter Ocean [Chicago] 12 June 1899: 9.