REPHISAL by Arthur Gordon


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As Literary Guild selection for September, this will have a head start that may counterbalance the reluctance of the current reading public to accept social problem no. This is a mature and thoughtful novel built around a case where a Negro took matters into his own hands in his determination to pay back the men responsible for a lynching that costs among others- his wife's violent death. The town is called Hainesville- the state, Georgia and the story cross sections the community, white and black, with the balance not too heavily loaded against the whites. For there is the Judge, whose charge to the Jury and courageous statement of the crime of acquittal of obviously guilty men, proves him a man who dares to see beyond the confines of local intolerance. And there's Unity Cantrell, newspaper girl, who tries to buck prejudice and apathy -- who conceals evidence as to the presence town of Nathan, though she knows why he is there. There's on the other side, Yancey Brown, colored undertaker, who walks the difficult tightrope of knowing that his people cannot win by direct means and violence, but who will not knuckle under to the threats of such white trash as the Aycooks and their hanger-on, Bitsy Shoup. Greek chorus as it were is Melady, reporter from the North, whose interference is resented, and who has to become a victim himself before the cause is his own and not just a case of abstract justice. A tangled web, with many counter-currents, a finale that hovers on the brink of melodrama without quite going over, a romance that weaves a tortuous path and comes to no conclusions- and the whole absorbing story which poses a problem without offering solution.

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 1950
Publisher: Simon & Schuster