Thursday, June 17, 2010

Throwback Thursday: The Street by Ann Petry

Throwback Thursday, an event hosted by Jenny over at Take Me Away Reading, is a new meme I'll be featuring at least once a month  It's the time to recognize those older books… an older book you’ve always wanted to read, or one that you have read and love; maybe one from your childhood; or review an older book -- how about even a classic!

Synopsis: Ann Petry's best-selling first novel, The Street, is the tragic story of Lutie Johnson, a young black woman, and her struggle to live decently and raise her son amidst the violence, poverty, desperation, and racial discord of Harlem in the late 1940s.

Lutie's marriage falls apart after she takes a job as a live-in nanny and maid in Connecticut, leaving her husband, Jim, and her son behind. When Lutie finds out that Jim "has taken up with another woman," she packs up her son and her things and moves out. She eventually ends up on 116th Street, signing the lease on the only apartment she can afford: three rooms in a building with narrow dark halls and prying, noisy neighbors.

Often compared to Richard Wright's
Native Son for its stark despair, The Street was the first book by an African American female writer to sell over one million copies.

Originally published: 1946

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