About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the...
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books, Minneapolis, MN
Publication Date: 2012
Illustrator: Artwork by R. Gregory Christie
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: 1st Edition
About this title
A documentary novel of the life and work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem bookseller
'You can't walk straight on a crooked line. You do you'll break your leg. How can you walk straight in a crooked system?'
Lewis Michaux was born to do things his own way. When a white banker told him to sell fried chicken, not books, because Negroes don't read,' Lewis took five books and one-hundred dollars and built a bookstore. It soon became the intellectual center of Harlem, a refuge for everyone from Muhammad Ali to Malcolm X.
In No Crystal Stair, Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson combines meticulous research with a storyteller's flair to document the life and times of her great uncle Lewis Michaux, an extraordinary literacy pioneer of the Civil Rights era.
'My life was no crystal stair, far from it. But I'm taking my leave with some pride. It tickles me to know that those folks who said I could never sell books to black people are eating crow. I'd say my seeds grew pretty damn well. And not just the book business. It's the more important business of moving our people forward that has real meaning.'
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson is the author of many books for young readers, including Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal, which won the Coretta Scott King Award in 2010, and Almost to Freedom, which won a Coretta Scott King Honor for Colin Bootman's illustrations in 2007. Vaunda is a youth services librarian at the public library in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, where she lives with her husband.
To write No Crystal Stair, Vaunda spent years researching Lewis Michaux's life. She conducted interviews, sifted through library collections, examined family archives, and interviewed those who knew Michaux. In the end though, the man's full story (and even his date of birth) remained elusive. Only the tools of fiction could make a complete portrait.
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