Books by Martha Southgate

Martha Southgate was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio. She graduated from Smith College with a BA in anthropology and went on to work as a community organizer before finding her way to the Cleveland Edition, a free local weekly. From there she attended t

THE TASTE OF SALT by Martha Southgate
Released: Sept. 13, 2011

"Thoughtful if small in scale, the drama's ambivalences and ambiguities remain almost too low-key to build readers' interest before the tragic if unsurprising climax."
A master at portraying the hurdles faced by upwardly mobile African-Americans, Southgate (Third Girl from the Left, 2005, etc.) focuses her third novel on a marine biologist trying to escape her heritage. Read full book review >
THIRD GIRL FROM THE LEFT by Martha Southgate
Released: Sept. 7, 2005

"Art conquers all: Family mysteries are solved, and sassy, determined women triumph."
A compelling saga of love, film and family secrets. Read full book review >
THE FALL OF ROME by Martha Southgate
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"An elegantly written story with serious concerns is lamentably undermined by much too often showing more than it tells."
Evocative but disappointingly inert, Southgate's second outing (after Another Way to Dance, 1996) depicts the conflicting tensions of experience and expectations that confront African-American males in traditionally white schools. Read full book review >
ANOTHER WAY TO DANCE by Martha Southgate
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

A probing ballet story about a young dancer who is untangling the differences between blending into the corps de ballet and subsuming her own individuality. Vicki Harris is in love with Mikhail Baryshnikov. She's thrilled to be accepted into the summer program at the prestigious School of American Ballet—where she might run into Misha—but she's also worried: The school is extremely demanding. Vicki is one of two African-Americans in the program, pronounced the other ``chip in the cookie,'' by sassy Stacey. They support each other in their rigorous classes but suspect that no matter how hard they work or how good they are, the subtle racism that pervades classical ballet and therefore the school has no room for anyone at the top who isn't white. Vicki has her own prejudices: Swept up in her ideal of the perfect ballerina, she has straightened her hair (over her mother's objections) and wears it in a bun; she's embarrassed at the ``loud and crazy'' antics of a group of black girls on the subway and dislikes the oversize clothing of ``homies.'' She faces these prejudices while coping with the rigors of school, family relationships, and her growing feelings for a boy in this compelling first novel about growing up, a summer of dance, and the haunting, competitive world of classical ballet. Readers will be rooting for Vicki all the way. (Fiction. 12+) Read full book review >