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White Rat

Author: Gayl Jones

The acclaimed author’s first collection of stories, reissued to coincide with the paperback publication of her second and latest, Butter

“Gayl Jones’s work represents a watershed in American literature. From a literary standpoint, her form is impeccable . . . and as a Black woman writer, her truth-telling, filled with beauty, tragedy, humor, and incisiveness, is unmatched.”—Imani Perry

Gayl Jones has been described as one of the great literary writers of the 20th century and was recently a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. This collection of short fiction was her third book, originally edited and published by Toni Morrison in 1977, and is reissued now alongside her second collection, Butter, in paperback for the first time.

The collection contains 12 provocative tales that explore the emotional and mental terrain of a diverse cast of characters, from the innocent to the insane. In each, Jones displays her unflinching ability to dive into the most treacherous of psyches and circumstances: the title story examines the identity and relationship conundrums of a Black man who can pass for white, earning him the name “White Rat” as an infant; “The Women” follows a girl whose mother brings a line of female lovers to live in their home; “Jevata” details 18-year-old Freddy’s relationship with the 50-year-old title character; “The Coke Factory” tracks the thoughts of a mentally-handicapped adolescent abandoned by his mother; and “Asylum” focuses on a woman having a nervous breakdown, trying to protect her dignity and her private parts as she enters an institution.

In uncompromising prose, and dialect that veers from northern, educated tongues to down-home southern colloquialisms, Jones illuminates lives that society ignores, moving them to center stage.
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White Rat

Your Poems Have Very Little Color in Them

The Women




The Coke Factory

The Return: A Fantasy

The Roundhouse


A Quite Place for the Summer

Version 2

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White Rat

ISBN: 978-080701294-9
Publication Date: 2/6/2024
Size:5.5 x 8.5 Inches (US)
Price:  $17.95
Format: Paperback
Availability: In stock.
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