Showing posts from February, 2010

The Street by Ann Petry

I felt more than read this book. I had to let it immerse me like being in a warm bath on a cold day. The feeling was all encompassing and disturbing. My heart was beating fast and the palpitations could be heard across the room. I found myself inhaling and trying to catch my breath from the feeling of an elephant standing on my chest. Ann Petry's use of language painted a vivid picture of Harlem and the lives of the people who were striving to make a living during a time of Pullman Porters, black men in a segregated war, and hate that could be cut with a knife. The narrative prose gave the reader a rare opportunity to glimpse into the minds of the characters, beyond just the protagonist. The story unfolded during a short period of time in the burgeoning burrough replete with hope and hunger, misery and miracles. It was both a tragic time and a magical time. Ann Petry's language allowed me to step into the other side of the neighborhood beyond the renaissance of The