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[Review of The Conjure Woman]

The Conjure Woman is so different from anything that has been written lately, that it deserves an entirely distinct notice in a different key. It can be compared to nothing except "Uncle Remus," and it takes up such a different set of negro traditions from those which Mr. Harris has given us, that it is better to make no comparison, but just advise everyone to read it who can. The stories are all of voodooism-"conjurin' " or "goopherin' " Uncle Julius calls it, and Uncle Julius tells the stories-but with all the black art which they recount they are not uncanny, for Uncle Julius always has his own entirely natural reason for telling them to the newcomer from the North, whom he wishes to twist around his finger and frighten away from certain parts of the plantation which he considers as his own preserves. Not too much is said about Uncle Julius, but the reader comes to know him pretty well before the end of the book; his character is perfectly drawn, and it gives an unexpected and human twist to stories which, without him, would be queer, grewsome fairy tales.