White Rat: Short Stories

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Harlem Moon/Broadway Books, 2005 - Fiction - 152 pages
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A classic collection from the renowned Gayl Jones, hailed as “one of the most distinguished African American women of letters.”
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Originally published in 1977, White Rat contains twelve provocative tales that explore the emotional and mental terrain of a diverse cast of characters, from the innocent to the insane.

In each, Jones displays her unflinching ability to dive into the most treacherous of psyches and circumstances: the title story examines the identity and relationship conundrums of a black man who can pass for white, earning him the name “White Rat” as an infant; “The Women” follows a girl whose mother brings a line of female lovers to live in their home; “Jevata” details eighteen-year-old Freddy’s relationship with the fifty-year-old title character; “The Coke Factory” tracks the thoughts of a mentally handicapped adolescent abandoned by his mother; and “Asylum” focuses on a woman having a nervous breakdown, trying to protect her dignity and her private parts as she enters an institution.

In uncompromising prose, and dialect that veers from northern, educated tongues to down-home southern colloquialisms, Jones illuminates lives that society ignores, moving them to center stage.

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White rat: short stories

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Jones's 1977 volume is a collection of 12 short stories in which she tackles some heavy-duty themes and complex characters. Read full review

Contents

WHITE RAT
3
YOUR POEMS HAVE VERY LITTLE COLOR IN THEM
14
THE WOMEN
20
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

GAYL JONES is the critically acclaimed author of several novels and books of poetry, including Corregidora, Eva’s Man, The Healing, Mosquito, and Song for Anninho.

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