Ann Petry - Bio and Creative Works

Ann Petry

JOURNALIST • NOVELIST • WRITER
Born
1908-10-12
Died
1997-04-28
Age (at death)
88
Citizenship
United States of America
Place of Birth
Old Saybrook
Bio

Ann Petry was an American writer of novels, short stories, children's books and journalism. Her 1946 debut novel The Street became the first novel by an African-American woman to sell more than a million copies. - Wikipedia

Select Creative Works

BOOK • 2023

by Ann Petry

“Petry is the writer we have been waiting for; hers are the stories we need to fully illuminate the questions of our moment, while also offering a page-turning good time. Ann Petry, the woman, had it all, and so does her insightful, prescient and unputdownable prose.” — Tayari Jones, New York Times Book Review
From the author of the bestselling novel The Street, comes a powerful collection of stories that captures a remarkably diverse panorama of African American experience in the 1950s and 1960s.
A small-town pharmacist’s decision to take a day off leads his wife to an agonizing encounter with the police. A retired Black college professor teaching at a predominately white high school is kidnapped and forced to witness an unthinkable horror. A young Black girl watches her aunt’s suitors threaten her family’s wellbeing, with repercussions that reverberate for decades. Ann Petry wrote these and the other extraordinary stories in this collection over half a century ago, but the problems they interrogate still exist today, incisively uncovering the consequences of America’s pervasive racism, while telling timeless stories of everyday lives, of aspiration, frustration, and love. Miss Muriel and Other Stories is “a delicate, unflinching probe into African-American existence” (Boston Globe) from one of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century. Originally published between 1945 and 1971, Petry’s stories are “a delicate, unflinching probe into African-American existence” (Boston Globe) and an assertion of her status as one of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century. 
“I’ve recently had my brain re-wired by Ann Petry, and it’s that exhilarating feeling of falling in love with one of your lifetime writers for the first time.” —Brandon Tyler

BOOK • 2023

by Ann Petry

“Petry is the writer we have been waiting for; hers are the stories we need to fully illuminate the questions of our moment, while also offering a page-turning good time. Ann Petry, the woman, had it all, and so does her insightful, prescient and unputdownable prose.” — Tayari Jones, New York Times Book Review
From the author of the bestselling novel The Street, Ann Petry’s classic 1947 novel portrays a small, sleepy New England town grappling with the indignities and lies of American life.
Johnnie Roane has come home from four years of fighting in World War II to his loving parents and his beautiful wife, Gloria. But his first doubts of Gloria’s infidelity are created on the way home by the local taxi driver, a passionate gossip, and these doubts which mature with the hurricane that is bearing down on them darkening the seemingly perfect town of Lennox, Connecticut. But a greater violence lurks beneath the surface of the storm…Country Place is a classic, page-turning story that masterfully captures the transformation of small-town life in America from one of the twentieth century’s finest writers.
“I’ve recently had my brain re-wired by Ann Petry, and it’s that exhilarating feeling of falling in love with one of your lifetime writers for the first time.” —Brandon Tyler

BOOK • 2023

by Ann Petry

“Petry is the writer we have been waiting for; hers are the stories we need to fully illuminate the questions of our moment, while also offering a page-turning good time. Ann Petry, the woman, had it all, and so does her insightful, prescient and unputdownable prose.” — Tayari Jones, New York Times Book Review
From author of the bestselling novel The Street, a “masterpiece of social realism” (Wall Street Journal) about a tragic love affair, and a powerful look into how class, race, and love intersected in midcentury America.
With a new introduction by Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of Libertie.

The Narrows deftly explores what it means to have an interior life under the unrelenting gaze of whiteness...it is a master class in using descriptions of place and space to explore the realities of race, gender, class and psychology.”—Kaitlyn Greenidge, from her introduction
It’s Saturday, past midnight, and thick fog rolls in from the river like smoke. Link Williams is standing on the dock when he hears quick footsteps approaching, and the gasp of a woman too terrified to scream. After chasing off her pursuer, he takes the woman to a nearby bar to calm her nerves, and as they enter, it’s as if the oxygen has left the room: they, and the other patrons, see in the dim light that he’s Black and she’s white.
Link is a brilliant Dartmouth graduate, former athlete and soldier who, because of the lack of opportunities available to him, tends bar; Camilo is a wealthy married woman dissatisfied with and bored of her life of privilege. Thrown together by a chance encounter, both Link and Camilo secretly cross the town’s racial divide, defying the social prejudices of their times.
In this stunning and heartbreaking story, Petry illuminates the harsh realities of race and class through two doomed lovers. This profound, necessary novel stakes Petry’s place as an indelible writer of American literature. 
“I’ve recently had my brain re-wired by Ann Petry, and it’s that exhilarating feeling of falling in love with one of your lifetime writers for the first time.” —Brandon Tyler

BOOK • 1946

by Ann Petry

With a new introduction from New York Times best-selling author Tayari Jones, The Street was Ann Petry's first novel, originally published in 1946 and hailed by critics as a masterwork.

The Street tells the poignant, often heartbreaking story of Lutie Johnson, a young black woman, and her spirited struggle to raise her son amid the violence, poverty, and racial dissonance of Harlem in the late 1940s.

Lutie is confronted by racism, sexism, and classism on a daily basis in her pursuit of the American dream for herself and her son, Bub. Lutie fully subscribes to the belief that if she follows the adages of Benjamin Franklin by working hard and saving wisely, she will be able to achieve the dream of being financially independent.

The first novel by an African-American woman to sell more than a million copies, its haunting tale still resonates today.

“Petry is the writer we have been waiting for; hers are the stories we need to fully illuminate the questions of our moment, while also offering a page-turning good time. Ann Petry, the woman, had it all, and so does her insightful, prescient and unputdownable prose.”—Tayari Jones, New York Times Book Review

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