Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by AZ_Fulfillment
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: [Solid Condition Paperback. Cover may have wear. May contain writing/markings. May be ex-library copy. Any CD/DVD may have been removed by previous user. Expedited Shipping Available]
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Third Girl from the Left Paperback – Bargain Price, September 5, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
Paperback, Bargain Price, September 5, 2006
$9.51 $2.49

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details

Top 20 lists in Books
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her second novel, Southgate (The Fall of Rome) explores how one generation's liberation becomes another's idea of constraint. Nested narratives follow three black women—Mildred, daughter Angela, and granddaughter Tamara—briefly breaking tradition to define themselves. Tamara, an aspiring Spike Lee, frames the tale of Angela, who escapes a prosaic life playing the obligatory naked black woman in the blaxploitation films of the 1970s. Hollywood's limitations turn Angela's dreams to frustration, and her outsized sexual displays incur her mother's wrath. Bold decisions and compromises leave Angela, a single mother working in a doctor's office by day, watching videos of her glory days at night with her female lover, while insisting that she is not a "dyke." The narrative spirals back to Mildred, showing how movies—a conduit through which Mildred and teenage Angela connect—are a window to a better world. The narrative culminates in Tamara's documentary about Angela, Mildred and herself, black women in America, "making their lives mean something where they can." While what should invigorate—Tamara taking the creative reins of a form her elders limitedly participated in—lacks conviction because of a too-neat conclusion, the book's emotional intensity and its characters' complex motivation overcome occasional simplification. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Spanning three generations and the continental U.S.--Tulsa, L.A., and New York--this novel tells of the struggles of three black women entranced by the power of movies to represent the longings of ordinary people and to fulfill the desire for self--expression. Mildred, who lost her mother in the race riots of Tulsa in 1921, escapes into the fantasies of movies, unaware of her daughter Angela's powerful desire for a similar escape. When Angela comes of age, she leaves stifling Tulsa for the excitement of L.A., just in time for the rise of blaxploitation movies. Angela becomes immersed in the culture of the glitzy town, working as a Playboy bunny, hoping for her big break. Her friendship with Sheila, a fellow actress and bunny, sustains her even after the out-of-wedlock birth of her daughter, Tamara. Eventually, Tamara's dreams take her cross-country to New York for a stab at a filmmaking career. Lost in their own dreams and desires, alienated from one another for long stretches, these women are ultimately united by a love of movies and their power to transcend and transform. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061877338X
  • ASIN: B003YCQE38
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,795,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Martha Southgate is the author of four novels. Her newest, The Taste of Salt, published by Algonquin Books, is in stores and available for pre-order now. Her previous novel, Third Girl from the Left, won the Best Novel of the Year award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was shortlisted for the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy award. Her novel The Fall of Rome received the 2003 Alex Award from the American Library Association and was named one of the best novels of 2002 by Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post. She is also the author of Another Way to Dance, which won the Coretta Scott King Genesis Award for Best First Novel. She received a 2002 New York Foundation for the Arts grant and has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Her July 2007 essay from the New York Times Book Review, "Writers Like Me" received considerable notice and appears in the anthology Best African-American Essays 2009. Previous non-fiction articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine,O, Premiere, and Essence.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This novel follows the stories of three different generations of African-American women: Angie, headstrong and beautiful, flees from Tulsa to LA in the early 70s; her mother Mildred, who was always so strict with Angie but who holds onto her own surprising secrets; and Angie's daughter Tamara, who struggles financially through film school. None of them had good relationships with their own mothers. They each in their own way escape through the medium of film.

The novel was easy to read and fast-paced. Southgate has obviously done her homework, particularly about the Tulsa riot in 1921 and the 1970s blaxploitation films, but the information is weaved effortlessly into the narrative. The story is believable, the characters memorable, and the writing superb. Unlike other reviewers, I do not think she is trying to cover too much in one book and I certainly cannot understand how anyone would find this book boring or too slow. Perhaps my opinion will change after reading her first novel. If you haven't read Southgate before, start with this one.
Comment 3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I was deeply moved by this story centered around three generations of women, all connected by blood and their love of movies. Angela leaves home at a young age to pursue a movie career that never really happens. Her daughter Tamara also has a love for film and attends film school. Tamara films everything around her. Tamara doesn't know her family or her father. She is left confused as to why Angela never answers her questions about where she comes from or just who her father is. The only family Tamara has ever known is her mother and her lover Sheila. When Angela's mother Mildred becomes ill, she returns home with Tamara. Tamara meets her mother's family for the first time. When Mildred recalls the stories from the past Tamara catches it on film. Through her Grandmother, family secrets and tragedy are exposed.
This was a very engaging and satisfying read. The characters were well defined and I was easily able to connect with them. I highly recommend this novel. A wonderful story of family.

Reviewed by
Mahogany Media Review
Albany, N.Y.
Comment 2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
After much anticipation and a long wait, Martha Southgate, author of the highly acclaimed debut novel, Fall of Rome, is back with her sophomore novel, Third Girl From the Left (TGFL).

TGFL is set against the backdrop of Black Hollywood and the rich, but often forgotten, legacy of the 1921 Tulsa race riots. Southgate takes us into the realm of the mother/daughter world as we experience life from the point of view of three generations of women: Mildred-mother/grandmother; Angela, daughter; and granddaughter, Tamara.

Mildred and Angela shared a tumultuous history, however, their love of movies and their weekly movie outings was the event that bonded them during Angela's teen years. So enamored with being in the movies, Angela runs away to Los Angeles in the 70s and finds herself at the height of the blaxplotation era. Angela-along with thousands of other girls from small town, usa-- auditions constantly for the role that will maker her a star. As the years move forward, stardom eludes her, and her greatest claim to fame is a movie starring Pam Grier-where Angela has a small speaking part in a fight scene and she is the `third girl from the left.' Tiring of the daily drudgery of auditions, limited income, dreams deferred and wanting to experience a little happiness -if just for a moment, even if that happiness includes consequences, she throws caution to the wind as she engages in unprotected sex and becomes pregnant.

Tamara is the by-product of that act, and the child who appears to be able to accomplish what her grandmother and mother could not. Estranged from her family, Angela's daughter knows very little about the life she left behind in Tulsa.
Read more ›
Comment 8 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Pinklady on November 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have not read The Fall of Rome yet, but I did read Third Girl From The Left, and I really enjoyed it. I loved reading about the three generations of women. I especially enjoyed reading about Angela's struggle for stardom and her relationship with Sheila and Rafe. I also enjoyed reading about Mildred's afternoon rendezvous with William. I think Martha Southgate is a gifted writer and I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Comment 2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up in a grocery store on a bit of a whim, and was ultimately surprised and pleased to have done so. I had not encountered Southgate's earlier books, so she was unfamiliar to me. I am originally from Tulsa but have been gone for several years. A few years ago, I found out about the Tulsa race riots for the first time (notably, after high school). I felt a great amount of guilt and shame about not knowing about this major event in the state's short (i.e., mostly white/"American") history, and it reminded me of the way I felt when I first learned that a lot of kids growing up in Northern Ireland had no idea that the Irish Famine of the 1840s had occurred. We just have such a inconsistent understanding of our own past, which distorts how we view ourselves now. And this is just such a sad thing to me.

This general sense of sadness and even guilt pervaded the book for me, but this is also what made it so powerful and so real to me. The protagonist is Angela, a beautiful black woman who strives for something more than what 1970s Tulsa has to offer. Interestingly, her beauty would have entitled her to more than her peers, but it isn't enough. She is clearly a free-thinker, without ever having been taught to be. She doesn't buy into the current sexual mores, for instance, and instead follows right along with the contemporary trend towards women becoming more aware of their bodies. Yet she does this not because of the women's liberation movement, which has never really reached Oklahoma, anyway, but because that's who she really is. Her inherent "differentness" causes her to develop a hatred for boring and behind-the-times Tulsa. This self-confidence, awareness of her own beauty, and her love of film eventually lead her to L.A.

Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews