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10/13/2004 - Leaving Cecil Street
Leaving Cecil Street by
Publication Date: 2004-03-30
. . . though the block had long ago made the transition from white to colored to Negro to Black Is Beautiful, the city still provided street cleaning . . . when the children took to the outside and there was the familiar smack, smack of the double-Dutch rope. The sound was a predictable comfort. Like the sounds of the Corner Boys, a mildly delinquent lot consumed with pilfering Kool cigarettes or the feel of a virgin girl's behind. . . . As she did in her previous novels Tumbling and Blues Dancing, Diane McKinney-Whetstone once again masterfully renders time and place, character and emotional intensities. It is 1969 and Cecil Street is "feeling some kind of way," so the residents decide to have two block parties this year. These energetic, sensual street celebrations serve as backdrops to the stories of the people on the block. Joe, a long-ago sax player, has turned his eye across the street to a newly arrived young southern beauty even as he is suddenly haunted by memories of his horn-playing nights and his affection for a shy, soft hooker from years ago. Joe's wife, Louise, a licensed practical nurse, is losing her teeth to gum disease and her joy to sensing that Joe's attention has wandered. Their teenage daughter, Shay, is consumed with helping her best friend and next-door neighbor Neet, who has gotten pregnant by a Corner Boy. Neet's mother, Alberta, is shunned by the block because of her immersion in a religion that has no name. As the novel opens, the first block party has ended and a naked woman has secretly taken up residence in Joe and Louise's cellar. McKinney-Whetstone's superb gift for language and storytelling, for crafting scenes that leave the reader breathless, for distilling complex human emotion in a well-turned phrase, is on full display here. She portrays the community and the times with precision and compassion in an unforgettable story that gets under the skin. As the novel builds to the second block party, the past becomes as immediate as the present, condemnable acts become righteous, and what is tragic is also filled with hope. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
11/17/2004 - Montana 1948
Montana 1948 by
Publication Date: 2007-05-25
The tragic tale of a Montana family ripped apart by scandal and murder: "a significant and elegant addition to the fiction of the American West" (Washington Post). In the summer of 1948, twelve-year-old David Hayden witnessed and experienced a series of cataclysmic events that would forever change the way he saw his family. The Haydens had been pillars of their small Montana town: David's father was the town sheriff; his uncle Frank was a war hero and respected doctor. But the family's solid foundation was suddenly shattered by a bombshell revelation. The Hayden's Sioux housekeeper, Marie Little Soldier, tells them that Frank has been sexually assaulting his female Indian patients for years--and that she herself was his latest victim. As the tragic fallout unravels around David, he learns that truth is not what one believes it to be, that power is abused, and that sometimes one has to choose between loyalty and justice. Winner of the Milkweed National Fiction Prize
12/15/2004 - Secrets Never Told
Secrets Never Told by
Publication Date: 2003-07-01
From national bestselling author Rochelle Alers comes the powerful story of one woman and the secrets that will forever alter her vision of her family, her marriage, and herself. In one night, Morgana Johnson-Wells takes two hard hits: first, news that her mother has died, then evidence that her husband is having an affair. Fleeing Baltimore to tend to her mother's estate in Salvation, Georgia, Morgana finds comfort in the company of her Uncle Julian and in the diaries her mother left hidden in the attic. Shocked by her mother's most private thoughts and confused about both her illusions of her own childhood and the fate of her marriage, Morgana is drawn to local artist Erick Wilson, with whom she shares the kind of intimacy she and her husband have lost along the way. The connection grows deep, and by the time all of her mother's secrets are revealed, Morgana has a few secrets of her own...secrets of the heart, mind, and body that need never be told.
2/16/2005 - Makes Me Wanna Holler : A Young Black Man in America
Makes Me Wanna Holler by
Call Number: B McCall
Publication Date: 1995-01-31
A Young Black Man in America Nathan McCall was a smart kid growing up in a close, protective family in a black working-class neighbourhood. Yet by the age of fifteen he was packing a gun and embarking on a criminal career that would five years later land him in prison. A blistering chronicle of one man's struggle from the street to the prison yard and ultimately to the newsroom of 'The Washington Post' where he is now a respected reporter. An honest and searching look at the perils of the black male in the US.
3/16/2005 - Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly : The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave
Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly by
Call Number: 973.7092 F
Publication Date: 2003-04-08
A vibrant social history set against the backdrop of the Antebellum south and the Civil War that recreates the lives and friendship of two exceptional women: First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and her mulatto dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckly. “I consider you my best living friend,” Mary Lincoln wrote to Elizabeth Keckly in 1867, and indeed theirs was a close, if tumultuous, relationship. Born into slavery, mulatto Elizabeth Keckly was Mary Lincoln’s dressmaker, confidante, and mainstay during the difficult years that the Lincolns occupied the White House and the early years of Mary’s widowhood. But she was a fascinating woman in her own right, independent and already well-established as the dressmaker to the Washington elite when she was first hired by Mary Lincoln upon her arrival in the nation’s capital. Lizzy had bought her freedom in 1855 and come to Washington determined to make a life for herself as a free black, and she soon had Washington correspondents reporting that “stately carriages stand before her door, whose haughty owners sit before Lizzy docile as lambs while she tells them what to wear.” Mary Lincoln had hired Lizzy in part because she was considered a “high society” seamstress and Mary, an outsider in Washington’s social circles, was desperate for social cachet. With her husband struggling to keep the nation together, Mary turned increasingly to her seamstress for companionship, support, and advice—and over the course of those trying years, Lizzy Keckly became her confidante and closest friend. With Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly, pioneering historian Jennifer Fleischner allows us to glimpse the intimate dynamics of this unusual friendship for the first time, and traces the pivotal events that enabled these two women—one born to be a mistress, the other to be a slave—to forge such an unlikely bond at a time when relations between blacks and whites were tearing the nation apart. Beginning with their respective childhoods in the slaveholding states of Virginia and Kentucky, their story takes us through the years of tragic Civil War, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the early Reconstruction period. An author in her own right, Keckly wrote one of the most detailed biographies of Mary Lincoln ever published, and though it led to a bitter feud between the friends, it is one of the many rich resources that have enhanced Fleischner’s trove of original findings. A remarkable, riveting work of scholarship that reveals the legacy of slavery and sheds new light on the Lincoln White House, Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly brings to life a mesmerizing, intimate aspect of Civil War history, and underscores the inseparability of black and white in our nation’s heritage.
4/13/2005 - The Samurai's Garden
The Samurai's Garden by
Publication Date: 1996-04-15
On the eve of the Second World War, a young Chinese man is sent to his family's summer home in Japan to recover from tuberculosis. He will rest, swim in the salubrious sea and paint in the brilliant shoreside light. It will be quiet and solitary.But he meets four local residents-a beautiful Japanese girl and three older people. What then ensues is a tale that readers will find at once classical yet utterly unique. Young Stephen has his own adventure, but it is the unfolding story of Matsu, Sachi and Kenzo that seizes your attention and will stay with you forever.Gail Tsukiyama has, with lines as clean, simple, telling and dazzling as the best Oriental art, created a small, moving masterpiece.
5/18/2005 - Master Harold-- and the Boys
Master Harold and the Boys by
Call Number: 822 Fugard
Publication Date: 2009-10-13
A compelling drama of South African apartheid and a universal coming-of-age story, from "the greatest active playwright in the English-speaking world" (Time). Originally produced in 1982, "Master Harold and the Boys" is now an acknowledged classic of the stage, whose themes of injustice, racism, friendship, and reconciliation traverse borders and time.
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