It's August, it's hot, it's revival time in Maxwell, Georgia. Tracy Deen, the rebel child who always disappoints his self-sacrificing mother, returns home from World War I. It is clear as day, once he is able to put his feelings into words, that he loves Nonnie Anderson. But Tracy Deen is white and Nonnie Anderson isn't. She's from one of the best colored families in Maxwell, even college educated, but she isn't white; and now she's pregnant with Tracy's child and she's glad. Nonnie's brother and sister try to make Nonnie see the problems they all now face. Maxwell is a town where, on the surface, people know their place. But after a white man is murdered in the black part of town, fear takes over and a vigilante group soon appears. A young man laments: "Right now, I have some ideas...If I stay here twenty years, I won't have them. Now I see things without color getting in the way - I won't be able to, then. It'll get me. It gets us all. Like quicksand. The more you struggle, the deeper you sink in it - I'm damned scared to stay -." Strange Fruit
, written fifty years ago, confronts problems that have yet to be resolved, that need to be read about and acted upon. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14
. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Holly Smith
About the Author
Lillian Smith (1897 - 1966) was a novelist, essayist, and one of the first prominent white southerners to denounce racial segregation openly and to work actively against the entrenched and often brutally enforced world of Jim Crow. Author of Killers of the Dream, The Journey, and One Hour and recipient of the Southern Authors Award in 1950, she was both celebrated and condemned for Strange Fruit, her first, and most accomplished, novel.