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Inheritance Paperback – November 15, 2011
About the Author
Jane Lazarre is on the Faculty of Eugene Lang College at the New School for Social Research. She is the author of numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, including Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness and The Mother Knot, both published by Duke University Press.
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Top Customer Reviews
The cast of characters as listed became real to me as I read and absorbed the story and began to understand how the people related to each other throughout the generations.
Ms. Lazarre has always been a favorite writer for me, going back to her first book "Mother Knot". That being said, most of her books are non-fiction depicting different times in her life and are quite absorbing, and so I was thrilled to read a fictional tale by her, although I suspect that she has drawn from stories in her life and the lives of her family.
The women in Inheritance are especially wonderful. Their stories are both beautiful and painful and the way in which the generations are entwined is indeed the beautiful part of Inheritance. I have purchased the book for my two adult daughters, wanting them to read this timeless story about families and the effects we all have on the lives that come after us.
Presenting a fascinating parallel to Peter Troy's May the Road Rise Up to Meet You, with its similarly braided narratives and vision of the powerful encounter between European immigrants and struggling African-Americans, Inheritance is especially memorable for its lyrical language, its delicate and penetrating vision of how white women in widely varying circumstances have responded to the intolerable reality of racial oppression in this country, and for its touching portrait of the girl Samantha's brave struggle to hold her elders to account, and finally to make of the "flash of anger," the "shadow of grief" playing across a "face the color of sand" some sort of meaningful and indeed creative memorial to the history that made her. In a time of focus on evolving racial definitions, and on the reality of American mixtures so long denied under the fiction of a binary racial regime, this novel stands out for its courageous ability to hold onto two truths that only seem to conflict: a vision both of intimate connection across color lines, and of the terrible division and damage wrought by white supremacy. The reader comes away with a sense that hope lies precisely in the resolve not to forget. For those interested in further reflective commentary on these issues, I recommend the author's interview with historian Clare Potter on the latter's blog at the Chronicle of Higher Education, available at: [...]