Just days after her new novel won national acclaim, author Gayl Jones and her husband barricaded themselves in their family home, and he slit his throat as police stormed in.

Bob Jones, 51, died late Friday at the University of Kentucky Hospital, the same night police broke into his home after a three-hour standoff to serve a 14-year-old warrant on a Michigan weapons charge.His 48-year-old wife was being held for observation at Eastern State Hospital.

The couple, who are black, have both accused authorities of racism - she in resigning from the University of Michigan faculty in 1983, and he in ranting letters recently to a prosecutor.

Newsweek last week featured a glowing full-page review of Gayl Jones' new novel, "The Healing," which the magazine called a "major literary event." Published by Beacon Press, the novel looks back in reverse chronology at the story of a young woman who discovers she has a gift for healing.