The rape of a young black woman in rural southwestern Arkansas of the 1920s, and the secret murder of the perpetrator, affects a diverse cast of characters for the next half century. 25,000 first printing. $30,000 ad/promo. Tour.
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Myra McLarey's stunning debut novel takes us into the overlapping, complicitous worlds of black and white, the strange, tangled tales that make up history and the soul of community, and the blessedness of life that lies beyond tragedy. Recalling the authentic cadences and gentle authority of Eudora Welty and the circular, magic storytelling of Toni Morrison, Water from the Well is a sensuous and compelling work of lasting literature.
Set in the leafy, agrarian environs of southwestern Arkansas, the novel opens in 1919 with a cow-pasture baseball game between the Sugars Spring men's team and the coloreds of Bethel, an unheard-of event whose outcome disturbs the delicate racial and sexual balance of the community. A year to the day later a cyclone descends, its dark, destructive power visiting black and white alike. Tossing houses, uprooting rosebushes, and mingling lives, the storm becomes analogous to the swirling, evening-time porch stories that give substance to a world as fully realized as Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County or Joyce's Dublin.
Spanning over a century of history as rich as the Delta's many-hued soil, and in language vivid with image, humor, idiom, and suggestion, the intertwined stories of the novel have a brilliant dramatic and moral inevitability: the secret rape of a young black woman named Baby and the even more secret murder of her rapist; the abiding rage of former slave Ransom Tramble; the displacement of the Yankee woman Cora Emery McRae; the passions of Sheriff David Ben Sugars; the magical power of the beautiful Delie Turner; the mystical, green-eyed vision of Delie's grandmother, Rebekah Sarah; and the strength, anguish, desire, courage and mystery of Samuel Daniel McElroy, the grandson of slaves.
Powerful, transporting, filled with color, light, and character, Myra McLarey's consummately rendered novel speaks to us eloquently about a time and a place that are all but lost. In her accomplished hands the voices from that world come alive again to tell us what we still need to know about America, and about ourselves.
Myra McLarey, a native of southwestern Arkansas, is an associate faculty member of the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College.About the Author:
Myra McLarey, is an associate faculty member of the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College.
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Book Description The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0871136104
Book Description The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110871136104