Review: “The Knowing” by Tananarive Due

3 of 5 stars.

This modern, supernatural tale blends the Cassandra myth with the Fates to showcase how different people face the knowledge of their death.

12 y.o. Nicky lives a nomad’s life contemporary-style. His mother is always on the run from the consequences of her ESP–she knows the date and method of everyone’s death. Some people pay her for the tidbit of information. At other times, she uses her bad judgment and shouts the data at them unrequested. She probably shouldn’t have told Nicky’s his in a pique.

But Nicky chooses to live with the knowledge. 2 of his final 5 years have elapsed . . .

This short story would have been vastly more interesting from Nicky’s mother POV. The war of emotions and psychological frustration that wrack her cannot be fathomed by a pre-teen no matter how savvy he is. His own appointment with death doesn’t seem fully self-realized.

Appearing in Ghost Summer, this short story first appeared in Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writers, ed. Marita Golden & E. Lynn Harris (Harlem Moon).
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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