went on to win the National Book Critics Circle Award. Wilkerson chronicles the lives of three individuals who left different regions of the South, headed to different U.S. cities at different times during a 55-year time span. Find it in the Library’s BIOGRAPHY COLLECTIONS area.
An excellent companion to Wilkerson’s book is Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series. Jacob’s parents gradually made their way from the rural South, eventually settling in Harlem. Fortunately, Lawrence’s artistic talent was nurtured during the Depression by a WPA program dedicated to cultural work. His 60-piece Migration Series, depicting scenes from this twentieth century mass migration, is reproduced in this book. Find this book on our Library’s upper level in the ARTISTS section.
1939, several days after its invasion of Poland nine months earlier. Within days, Churchill is told that the French armed forces, together with the British Expeditionary Force, will not be able to withstand the onslaught of the German military. Within weeks, the allied forces are driven to the sea, and the famous Dunkirk evacuation takes place.
Larson, using personal diaries, government archival documents, and communications between Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, weaves a story of the next eleven months. We are told the story of an inspirational leader, his family members, and those whom he called on to do the seemingly impossible. The book follows the prime minister, day after day, from May 1940 until May 1941. We learn of his many eccentricities, his powerful oratory, his overwhelming personal debts, and his petulance when he learns that his favorite honey has been used to sweeten a batch of rhubarb. It provides an intimate look at his family and his ever-supportive wife Clementine, who gives him direction when she feels he needs it. She gives General Charles de Gaulle a tongue-lashing in perfect French when she thinks he needs it. We meet Mary, their teenage daughter, who seems to grow from a party-loving kid into a serious adult in the span of a year. We meet Randolph, the Churchills’s twenty-nine-year-old wastrel, drunken, gambler of a son, even though we wish we hadn’t.
I greatly enjoyed reading this book, and I think you might, too.
Note: The Splendid and the Vile is located in the World War II section on the second floor of the Library.
two decades apart but light years distant in terms of class and caste. Morrison sets her novel in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio. Lorain, in the 1940s, was one of many northern cities attractive to Blacks fleeing the segregated South in search of jobs.
In interviews Morrison has said that the story stemmed from a conversation that she’d had with an elementary school classmate who longed for blue eyes. The novel’s central character, 11-year old Pecola, regards her black skin as ugly and therefore herself as not deserving of love and respect. She observes her mother, housekeeper for a white family, demonstrating more concern for her white charges than for her. Not surprisingly, Pecola fantasizes about having blue eyes.
Author Dorothy West was both the daughter of a former slave and part of the Harlem Renaissance. Martha’s Vineyard was home to West when her novel, The Wedding, was published in 1995. The Vineyard is also the novel’s setting for a “blue-veined” society wedding. Events leading up to the anticipated wedding allowed West to flash back to the lives of five previous generations of this family.
Find all three of these books in the Coffman Library.
*Based on a quote from Joyce Carol Oates
who-done-it, there is the puzzle of identifying settings, and maybe even characters in disguise. We are the perfect audience.
Many of you may know that M. D. Lake is really our own neighbor Allen Simpson! This was a delightful surprise to me. Allen once wrote a weekly humor column in the Minnesota Daily. Retired from teaching Scandinavian literature at the U, he moved to 1666 Coffman in 2009. You can find his bio in the notebooks on the 1666 shelf.
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