Black Girl/white Girl

Black Girl/white Girl

A Novel

Book - 2006 | 1st ed.
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Fifteen years ago, in 1975, Genna Hewett-Meade's college roommate died a mysterious, violent, terrible death. Minette Swift had been a fiercely individualistic scholarship student, an assertive--even prickly--personality, and one of the few black girls at an exclusive women's liberal arts college near Philadelphia. By contrast, Genna was a quiet, self-effacing teenager from a privileged upper-class home, self-consciously struggling to make amends for her own elite upbringing. When, partway through their freshman year, Minette suddenly fell victim to an increasing torrent of racist harassment and vicious slurs--from within the apparent safety of their tolerant, "enlightened" campus--Genna felt it her duty to protect her roommate at all costs.

Now, as Genna reconstructs the months, weeks, and hours leading up to Minette's tragic death, she is also forced to confront her own identity within the social framework of that time. Her father was a prominent civil defense lawyer whose radical politics--including defending anti-war terrorists wanted by the FBI--would deeply affect his daughter's outlook on life, and later challenge her deepest beliefs about social obligation in a morally gray world.

Black Girl / White Girl is a searing double portrait of "black" and "white," of race and civil rights in post-Vietnam America, captured by one of the most important literary voices of our time.

Publisher: New York : Ecco, c2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780061125645
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: 272 p. ; 24 cm.


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Feb 05, 2017

This was my first Oates book. I thought the book's plot was a bit implausible and unnecessarily festooned, but still interesting. Written in 2006 which is not that long ago, it still seems dated. It would have seemed dated at the time of publishing. Still, it left you with things to think about: the inescapability of white norms being the 'only' normal, how we all hide from accepting responsibility for failure.


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