\"Compelling act of racism: the murder of a black teenager who had the presumption to speak an innocent French phrase to the young white wife of a man infected with hatred...But (the book) is not about the murder, the perfunctory investigation that follows, or the inevitable injustice in the courts. What this novel seeks to do is to explore the social and, more importantly, the psychological ramifications of this single reprehensible act. It is, in effect, a mystery novel of the heart.\"
Written in poetic prose, filled with masterfully drawn and sympathetic characters that a less able hand might have rendered in stereotypes, this first novel blends the irony of Flannery O'Connor's fiction and the poignance of Harper Lee's. Moving quickly and believably from the eve of integration in rural Mississippi to the present-day street gangs in Chicago's housing projects, Campbell ( Sweet Summer: Growing Up With and Without My Dad ) captures the gulf between pre-and post-civil rights America; her story, starting with the murder of a young black man whose trial--argued before an all-white jury--captures national attention, shows us how far we have come and yet suggests we have not come so far after all. When word gets out that black teenager Armstrong Todd was talking French to Lily Cox, the Cox men kill him. Clayton Pinochet, the local newspaper reporter whose father is the most powerful and reactionary man in town, secretly tips off the national press; the men are arrested for what in previous times would have been a permissible crime. Their acquittal makes it clear that the system doesn't provide justice, and life never returns to normal for anyone. Details--the advent of TV, the polio vaccine, a Faulkner novel, Vietnam, women's lib and Oprah! --add to the rich, textured background.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition
Set in rural Mississippi beginning in the Mid-50's. It is a haunting reality through Anywhere USA. love rage hatred winning and losing honor abnd abuse Cambell is a great storyteller her words are like songs