We've picked this, not because it is the great American novel, but because he has actually succeeded in doing something different in a Negro story -- he has treated his characters as people, hating, loving, striving, facing disillusionment, rather than looking at them as a race apart, stage props, plantation incongruities in a modern civilization. His story goes thin in spots, the long arm of coincidence is overstrained, he disposes of characters when he wants them summarily out of the way. But in the reading, it is a good story, convincingly told, almost -- one might say -- a Negro February Hill, amoral rather than immoral, but in the last analysis, a real story of real people. The setting shifts from Eastern Shore to Baltimore and back, with flashes from New York's Harlem and elsewhere. Sell this first as a novel in its own rights, then as a new gesture in the field of Negro stories.