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Monday, July 21, 2008

Race

Dawn Turner Trice is talking about race.

Are you now asking, who isn’t? Or maybe who is Dawn Turner Trice?

If you read the Chicago Tribune, you have probably seen her weekly column in the Metro section on Mondays. Her subject matter tends to relate to social issues. This year she has embraced the national conversation of race with thoughtful observations and commentary. She has also developed an online public forum called Exploring Race. While newspapers and television pundits address social issues, fiction takes on those themes with gusto as well.

The 2008 novel, Mudbound , by Hillary Jordan is a highly readable story set in Mississippi at the end of World War 2. It is the story of two families, one black and one white. While the difficulties of farm life and unhappy relationships are illustrated, the bond between two returning soldiers from each of the families gives this novel the its power.

A twist on the classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is found in the novel Finn by Jon Clinch, our book club choice for discussion on August 14th. This story centers on Huck's father. The ne'er-do- well, alcoholic is fleshed out in full, unabashed prejudicial form.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison chronicles a black man’s journey in white society during the mid 20th century. Orville Prescott of the New York Times reviewed Invisible Man on April 16, 1952. He wrote “Invisible Man is the most impressive work of fiction by an American Negro which I have ever read.” Clearly he wasn’t the only one who thought that. The Invisible Man went on to win the National Book award in 1954. Read Ellison’s acceptance speech.

An interesting fact – these were first novels for all three of the authors noted. Have an interesting fact of your own or a book suggestion - please comment.

1 comment:

Quack Boy. said...

What a lovely selection for such a difficult topic.

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