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The Street , by Ann Petry - Recommendation *PIC*
At The Bookstore
Title: The Street
Author: Ann Petry
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 1946
From 500 Great Books by Women;
Ann Petry puts forth a painfully honest treatise on black/white relations in The Street, and while it was written nearly fifty years ago, her unblinking insights and powerful commentary on the dynamics of race in the United States remain accurate today. Lutie Johnson, an intelligent, strong, and beautiful black woman, is the vehicle for Ann Petry's message. Separated from her husband, Lutie is doing her best to raise an eight-year-old son, achieve independence from her father, advance in her job, and work her way out of the Harlem streets, which she calls "The North's lynch mobs ... the method the big cities use to keep Negroes in their place." Streetwise, she is able to avoid being conned and to exploit a con artist to get ahead. Though her self-knowledge is thorough, it can't stop her entanglement in a tradition of oppression and an upbringing which blames whites for present afflictions. Her goals and values are her strength, enabling her to make decisions when there is no apparent choice and to face a justice system fraught with injustice. She ultimately escapes, but not without a sacrifice that rips apart any woman's heart.
"forty-five years ago Ann Petry brought the world to its feet with the artistry in this painfully honest and wrenching novel. Once again a standing ovation is due for this American classic. -Gloria Naylor
Family, has anyone read this book? I first learned about this novel and author in the July-August 2002 edition of Black Issues Book Review.
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