cover image Betsey Brown

Betsey Brown

Ntozake Shange. St. Martin's Press, $9.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-312-07728-0

This novel about a black family living in St. Louis in 1957 centers on Betsey, 13, who is restless, wants to ""be somebody'' and is being bused to a white school. Her mother and grandmother oppose and her father supports integration. When the father plans to take Betsey and her siblings to demonstrate against a racist hotel, the mother leaves home. PW stated that ``by depicting and personalizing the racial tensions of the 1950s through the lives of appealing characters, Shange has produced a memorable, quietly powerful book.'' (March)