“Harlem. 1940s. Single motherhood. Candlestick-murder.
Racism. Classism. Sexism.
An uncompromising plot wrapped in literary social criticism, Ann Petry’s first novel splays injustice and the damage it causes with phrasing as sharp and unforgiving as the street on which Lutie Johnson lives. A rule-follower in pursuit of her American dream, her life overlaps with Harlem’s underbelly and the people who simultaneously give her hope and then exploit her.
First published in 1946, The Street is as poignant today as it was then – which says at least as much about the current state of society as it does about Petry’s abilities.”
Has been compared to: Native Son by Richard Wright & Beloved by Toni Morrison
Pair it with: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond