White Rat: Stories
by Gayl Jones
Publication Date: Nov 22, 2005
List Price: $12.95
Format: Paperback, 176 pages
Imprint: Harlem Moon
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
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Originally published in 1977, White Rat contains twelve provocative tales that explore the emotional and mental terrain of a diverse cast of characters, from the innocent to the insane.
In each, Jones displays her unflinching ability to dive into the most treacherous of psyches and circumstances: the title story examines the identity and relationship conundrums of a black man who can pass for white, earning him the name “White Rat” as an infant; “The Women” follows a girl whose mother brings a line of female lovers to live in their home; “Jevata” details eighteen-year-old Freddy’s relationship with the fifty-year-old title character; “The Coke Factory” tracks the thoughts of a mentally handicapped adolescent abandoned by his mother; and “Asylum” focuses on a woman having a nervous breakdown, trying to protect her dignity and her private parts as she enters an institution.
In uncompromising prose, and dialect that veers from northern, educated tongues to down-home southern colloquialisms, Jones illuminates lives that society ignores, moving them to center stage.
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