(1936-2002) US author, mostly of juveniles, and of very considerable interest in that field for the exploratory intensity of her work, from Zeely (1967) on, and for the depth of her presentation of the complex experience of being black in the USA (her maternal grandfather was an escaped slave). Several of her better-known tales, like M.C. Higgins, the Great (1974) and Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush (1982), are fantasies. Of particular sf interest is the Justice Cycle – Justice and her Brothers (1978), Dustland (1980) and The Gathering (1981) – describing the slow growth of a sibling gestalt into an entity which may well prefigure a higher form of humanity (see Transcendence). The relationship between the siblings, as Justice begins to realize that she must take control over her identical-twin elder brothers, is developed with great skill. Willie Bea and the Time the Martians Landed (1983), her sole sf singleton, is set at the time of Orson Welles's Radio broadcast of H G Wells's The War of the Worlds in 1938, and is based on the premise that there may indeed have been an Alien landing. [JC]
see also: Superman.
Virginia Esther Hamilton Adoff
born Yellow Springs, Ohio: 12 March 1936
died Dayton, Ohio: 19 February 2002
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