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A LONG TIME SINCE MORNING by Leon Odell Griffith



Pub Date: Aug. 13th, 1954
Publisher: Random House

A first novel is part of the literary renascence of the south which feeds primarily on the attrition of this area. It is Creighton, a small town in the western part of Florida, which protects its acknowledgement of old traditions and makes its pawky protest against the intrusion of the outside world. In this case Hugh Lee, a Yankee who has married the daughter of Captain Mason and been given The Advocate, a newspaper, as a dowry, threatens vestigial patterns. Determined to safeguard his own identity- which is menaced by the expected conformity to his wife, his father-in-law, and the town in general, he refuses to publish the poetry of Mabel Gramby, who at sixty, and unmarried, is the end of a proud line; he forces Dimple, the local mortician, to place an ad in his paper; and he finally defies a committee of citizens and tells them off. But Mabel Gramby's suicide, after an awkward attempt to seduce the local banker, sets off a potential of violence against the Negro boy who works for Hugh Lee. The town subdues the situation in its own way and Hugh Lee begins to see the justification of the established order.... A slow, sullen landscape of a small, tight world where raw emotions conflict with the heritage- or is it the hangover?- of tradition, this, while never pleasant reading, has its moments of honest inquiry and examination.