On Sale: October 17, 2006
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Literature and Fiction
Fifteen years ago, in 1975, Genna Hewett-Meade's college
roommate died a mysterious, violent, terrible death. Minette
Swift had been a fiercely individualistic scholarship
student, an assertiveâ€”even pricklyâ€”personality, and one of
the few black girls at an exclusive women's liberal arts
college near Philadelphia. By contrast, Genna was a quiet,
self-effacing teenager from a privileged upper-class home,
self-consciously struggling to make amends for her own elite
upbringing. When, partway through their freshman year,
Minette suddenly fell victim to an increasing torrent of
racist harassment and vicious slursâ€”from within the apparent
safety of their tolerant, "enlightened" campusâ€”Genna felt it
her duty to protect her roommate at all costs.
Now, as Genna reconstructs the months, weeks, and hours
leading up to Minette's tragic death, she is also forced to
confront her own identity within the social framework of
that time. Her father was a prominent civil defense lawyer
whose radical politicsâ€”including defending anti-war
terrorists wanted by the FBIâ€”would deeply affect his
daughter's outlook on life, and later challenge her deepest
beliefs about social obligation in a morally gray world.
Black Girl / White Girl is a searing double portrait of
"black" and "white," of race and civil rights in
post-Vietnam America, captured by one of the most important
literary voices of our time.
On Point - February 28, 2011
News and Notes - November 6, 2006
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