Daily Archives for: April 24th, 2015

The Street by Ann Petry (1946)

The Street by Ann Petry was published in 1946 and became the first novel by an African-American woman to sell more than a million copies — all told, it sold more than 1.5 million. The story centers on Lutie Johnson, a young black single mother coping with racism, sexual harassment, violence, and class divisions in World War II-era New York City.

Ann Petry (originally Ann Lane) was raised in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, and grew up as part of a middle-class black family. Her father, a pharmacist, and her mother, a podiatrist, provided a relatively sheltered life for Ann and her siblings. Read More→


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The Narrows by Ann Petry (1953)

The Narrows by Ann Petry (1953) was the third and last full-length novel for adult readers by the groundbreaking author of the 1946 blockbuster, The Street.

Though Petry would never replicate the incredible success of The Street, which became the first novel by an African-American woman to sell more than a million copies, The Narrows is a solid entry into the canon of an American author whose talent deserves to be more widely recognized. Read More→


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