Country Place: A Novel (Paperback)

Country Place: A Novel By Ann Petry, Farah Jasmine Griffin (Contributions by) Cover Image
By Ann Petry, Farah Jasmine Griffin (Contributions by)
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Originally published in 1947, Ann Petry’s classic Country Place depicts a predominantly white community disillusioned by the indignities and corruption of small-town life.

Johnnie Roane returns from four years of military service in World War II to his wife, Glory. They had been married just a year when he left Lennox, Connecticut, where both their families live and work. In his taxi ride home, Johnnie receives foreboding hints that all has not been well in his absence. Eager to mend his fraying marriage, Johnnie attempts to cajole Glory to recommit to their life together. But something sinister has taken place during the intervening years—an infidelity that has not gone unnoticed in the superficially placid New England town.

Accompanied by a new foreword from Farah Jasmine Griffin on the enduring legacy of Petry’s oeuvre, Country Place complicates and builds on the legacy of a literary celebrity and one of the foremost African American writers of her time.

About the Author

ANN PETRY (1908–1997) was a reporter, pharmacist, social worker, and community activist. She illuminated the range of black and white experience in her novels, short stories, and other writing. Her book The Street (1946) was the first novel by an African American woman to sell more than a million copies.

FARAH JASMINE GRIFFIN is the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African-American Studies at Columbia University.

Praise For…

“In this novel Ann Petry shows, through her compactness of style, increased fluidity of dialogue, and convincing character analysis, a marked advance over The Street.” —Margaret Just Wormley, Journal of Negro Education, 1948

“Gossip, malice, calculation, infidelity, adultery, attempted murder, sudden death, and a set of surprise bequests that more or less straighten things out—these are some of the dominant matters treated in Country Place. Yet this is, despite the violence of its events, a quiet book, carefully and economically phrased, and a good deal different from the author’s best-selling The Street.” —Richard Sullivan, New York Times, 1947

“In Country Place (1947), Ann Petry dared to violate an unofficial literary commandment of her era: African American writers shall confine their creative vision to racial protest, chronicling black suffering in the service of solving the so-called 'Negro Problem.'  Petry flips the racial script, depicting a nearly all-white, deceptively tranquil hamlet resembling her native Saybrook, Connecticut.  Long out of print, this neglected tour de force is a startling departure from her acclaimed debut novel The Street; with its reissue, I anticipate it finally garnering the wider readership it deserves.” –Keith Clark, author of The Radical Fiction of Ann Petry

Product Details
ISBN: 9780810139763
ISBN-10: 0810139766
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Publication Date: March 15th, 2019
Pages: 280
Language: English