Magic City

Front Cover
HarperCollins Publishers, 1997 - Fiction - 270 pages
1 Review
Inspired by real events -- the 1921 razing of the black section of Tulsa, Oklahoma, after a black man was falsely accused of raping a white woman -- this atmospheric, critically acclaimed novel of an American travesty reflects the powerful core of bigotry that still gnaws at our nation's heart.Magic City Tells the Tale of Joe, a Black Man Who shines shoes in a Tulsa office building, and Mary, a white farmer's daughter who runs an elevator in the same building. In pain and shock after being raped by the very farm-hand her father wants her to marry, Mary flees to the only safe place she knows -- her job. On the same day, while at work after an argument with his demanding father, an upset Joe decides to not walk the stairs to the colored bathrooms on the 14th floor. Ignoring the shocked stares of those around him, he takes the whites only elevator -- run by Mary. The doors close, the lift rises, and suddenly a scream rips the air. When the doors open, Mary is on the floor, her skirt around her thighs, and a concerned Joe is standing over her. As Joe flees in fear, the crowd, thinking the worst, does the only thing it knows: it grows into a seething mob that burns the black section of town to cinders. Dramatic, poignant, and beautifully imagined, Magic City is an unforgettable story of two people divided by race, but forever joined by fate.A mystical tale, full of spirits.... Rhodes' exciting and moving novel takes off at vigorous, lively clip from the first page, plunging through complex ideas and relationships without neglecting any of them. -- San Francisco Chronicle

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - VikkiLaw - LibraryThing

Add to my list of Things I Never Learned in History Class: The Tulsa riots of 1921, the existence and destruction of Greenwood (the "Black Wall Street"). According to Rhodes' afterward,for over a year ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1997)

Jewell Parker Rhodes is a professor of creative writing and American literature and director of the MFA program in creative writing at Arizona State University.

Bibliographic information