Frye Street & Environs: The Collected Works of Marita Bonner

Marita Bonner, Author Beacon Press (MA) $0 (286p) ISBN 978-0-8070-6300-2
Marita Bonner's fictional Frye Street is a cramped, ethnically diverse Chicago neighborhood where black immigrants from the South struggle to achieve middle-class respectability. Bonner (1899-1971) wrote most of the 20 short stories, three plays and two essayssome previously unpublishedin this anthology during the 1920s and '30s. Short and sketchlike, these works illuminate with terse, angry strokes the deadening effects of poverty and racism on the spirit and family life of urban blacks. Bonner's characters often hurt one another, both physically and emotionally, as they strike out against suffocating hopelessness. But on Frye Street, both the brutal aggressors and the humble sufferers are innocent victims of an oppressive ghetto environment. Flat and frequently nameless, like actors in a medieval morality play, these Depression-era characters exude an air of universality that makes them pungently relevant for our times. This is the latest volume in the Black Women Writers series. (January 30)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-8070-6309-5
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