The Good Negress: A Novel
by A.J. Verdelle
Publication Date: Nov 22, 2016
List Price: $15.95
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Imprint: Algonquin Books
Publisher: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.
Parent Company: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.
“Truly extraordinary.” —Toni Morrison
“Haunting … To read The Good Negress is to fall under a spell, to open a window, to fly.” ——Los Angeles Times Book Review
Twenty years after its initial publication, The Good Negress continues to be an important part of the literary canon, as relevant and necessary as ever.
The year is 1963, and young Denise Palms has rejoined her family in Detroit where she must work to make a place for herself and prepare for the arrival of her mother’s new baby. The baby will mean the end of Denise’s afterschool lessons with a stern teacher who insists that Denise learn to speak “proper” English to make herself heard. Verdelle’s intuition and ear allow her to dramatize precise moments of Denise’s self-recognition and, in the process, offer an inside look at a maturing intelligence. The Good Negress marks the arrival of an original voice in contemporary fiction.
With lyrical, evocative prose, A. J. Verdelle captures Denise’s journey from adolescence to womanhood as she navigates the tension between loyalty and independence, and between circumstance and desire. The Good Negress is an unforgettable debut—simultaneously the portrait of a family and a glimpse into an era of twentieth-century America.
Winner of the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters
Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
A Quality Paperback Book Club Selection
Winner of the Harold D. Vursell Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters