Free Reading Ann Petry. The Street The Narrows (Library of America) By Ann Petry –

In one volume, two landmark novels about the terrible power of race in America from one of the foremost African American writers of the past centuryAnn Petry is increasingly recognized as one of the essential American novelists of the twentieth century Now, she joins the Library of America series with this deluxe hardcover volume gathering her two greatest works Published into widespread critical and popular acclaim it was the first novel by an African American woman to sell over a million copies The Street follows Lutie Johnson, a young, newly single mother, as she struggles to make a better life for her son, Bub An intimate account of the aspirations and challenges of black, female, working class life, much of it set on a single block in Harlem, the novel exposes structural inequalities in American society while telling a complex human story, as overpriced housing, lack of opportunity, sexual harassment, and racism conspire to limit Lutie s potential and to break her buoyant spirit Less widely read than her blockbuster debut and still underappreciated, The Narrowsis Petry s most ambitious and accomplished novel a multi layered, stylistically innovative exploration of themes of race, class, sexuality, gender, and power in postwar America Centered around an adulterous interracial affair in a small Connecticut town between the young black scholar athlete Link Williams and white, privileged munitions heiress Camilo Sheffield, it is also a fond, incisive community portrait, full of unforgettable minor characters, unexpected humor, and a rich sense of history Also included in the volume are three of Petry s previously uncollected essays related to the novels and a newly researched chronology of the author s life, prepared with the assistance of her daughter Elisabeth PetryBRARY OF AMERICAis an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded into preserve our nations literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, Americas best and most significant writing The Library of America series includes thanvolumes to date, authoritative editions that average , pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid free paper that will last for centuries