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Ginny Gall : a life in the South

by Smith, Charlie, 1947-

Format: Print Book 2016
Availability: Available at 6 Libraries 6 of 6 copies
Available (6)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Homewood Fiction Collection FICTION Smith
Location  CLP - Homewood
Collection  Fiction Collection
Call Number  FICTION Smith
Carnegie Library of McKeesport Fiction F SMI
Location  Carnegie Library of McKeesport
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  F SMI
Monroeville Public Library Fiction SMITH Charlie
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  SMITH Charlie
Northern Tier Regional Library Fiction FIC SMITH
Location  Northern Tier Regional Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC SMITH
Shaler North Hills Library Fiction SMITH
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  SMITH
Whitehall Public Library Fiction Collection FIC Smith
Location  Whitehall Public Library
Collection  Fiction Collection
Call Number  FIC Smith

A sweeping, eerily resonant epic of race and violence in the Jim Crow South: a lyrical and emotionally devastating masterpiece from Charlie Smith, whom the New York Public Library has said "may be America's most bewitching stylist alive."

Delvin Walker is just a boy when his mother flees their home in the Red Row section of Chattanooga, accused of killing a white man. Taken in by Cornelius Oliver, proprietor of the town's leading Negro funeral home, he discovers the art of caring for the aggrieved, the promise of transcendence in the written word, and a rare peace in a hostile world. Yet tragedy visits them near daily, and after a series of devastating events--a lynching, a church burning--Delvin fears being accused of murdering a local white boy and leaves town.

Haunted by his mother's disappearance, Delvin rides the rails, meets fellow travelers, falls in love, and sees an America sliding into the Great Depression. But before his hopes for life and love can be realized, he and a group of other young men are falsely charged with the rape of two white women, and shackled to a system of enslavement masquerading as justice. As he is pushed deeper into the darkness of imprisonment, his resolve to escape burns only more brightly, until in a last spasm of flight, in a white heat of terror, he is called to choose his fate.

In language both intimate and lyrical, novelist and poet Charlie Smith conjures a fresh and complex portrait of the South of the 1920s and '30s in all its brutal humanity--and the astonishing endurance of one battered young man, his consciousness "an accumulation of breached and disordered living . . . hopes packed hard into sprung joints," who lives past and through it all.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* Some life scars are formed early. When young Delvin Walker is just five, his prostitute mother abandons him to escape from the law. Surviving through his wits and charm, Delvin is initially taken in by a local funeral-home owner in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but the boy soon takes to traveling the rails in search of his destiny. The infamous Scottsboro Boys trial forms the beating heart of this languorous story, but veteran writer and poet Smith (Men in Miami Hotels, 2013) takes the reader on many a detour before he gets there. Delvin's life experiences add up over the course of this enormous boxcar of a novel as it wends its way through large swaths of the Deep South. What emerges are Jim Crow horrors: lynching, beatings, and, as the Great Depression approaches, the pervasive racism that is the lot of an entire people still grubbing in the dirt for Ol Massa. If at times the novel feels as saturated by its storytelling burden as a humid summer evening, it is nevertheless a stark and revealing portrait of our collective past, and the overarching theme of justice denied remains disturbingly relevant today.--Apte, Poornima Copyright 2016 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Smith's brutal, beautifully written novel chronicles how racism in the segregated American South repeatedly derails the future of Delvin Walker, an aspiring writer. Delvin is haunted throughout his life by the memory of his mother, who fled Chattanooga, Tenn., upon being accused of killing a white man. Following her disappearance, Delvin and his siblings are separated and placed in foster care. Delvin's love for reading and storytelling is nurtured when he's taken in at age six by kindly Cornelius Oliver, a well-to-do mortician who hopes to pass his business on to Delvin. The particularly horrific mutilation and murder of a young black man leaves its mark on everyone, and Delvin later leaves Chattanooga, worried about an incident involving guns and some hostile white boys. He begins traveling on the rails and meets a man who calls himself Professor Carmel. Delvin agrees to help him run his mobile museum, which showcases photos of murdered black men. He's working with Carmel when he runs into a northerner named Celia, the first woman for which he pines. All along, Delvin keeps a notebook of his writings and longs to write a proper book. Smith (Men in Miami Hotels) is a master at conjuring evocative images, and his expert wordsmithing makes the brutal third act-in which Delvin is falsely accused and imprisoned-particularly visceral. This unforgettable story hits all the right notes, by turns poignant and devastating. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."

Additional Information
Subjects African Americans -- Fiction.
Race relations -- Fiction.
False imprisonment -- Fiction.
Southern States -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Publisher New York, NY :2016
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 451 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9780062250551
Other Classic View