Black Girl/White Girl.

Position:Book review


Black Girl/White Girl

By Joyce Carol Oates

When racial tensions run high.

Genna Mead's great-grandfather was a founder of Pennsylvania's Schuyler College, and her Quaker ancestors were abolitionists. When she arrived at Schuyler in the mid-1970s, Genna went out of her way to play down her fortunate roots. She also went the extra mile to befriend her roommate Minette, a black scholarship student from Washington D.C. Minette, however, rebuffs Genna's excessive attention, as she rejects most of the attention she receives at Schuyler. Racist events spill into the story, forcing Minette out of her antagonistic pose and prompting Genna to look carefully at her motivations.


Ecco. 288 pages. $25.95 ISBN: 0061125644

Los Angeles Times


"Only those with the biggest hearts have the nerve to enter that bruising frontier of the national life, integration, where nothing is actually what it seems, and no one has a heart bigger, braver or more full of unsentimental pity than Joyce Carol Oates." STANLEY CROUCH

Boston Globe


"What ensues over their tumultuous first year in this daring and exquisite novel by Joyce Carol Oates reflects the tragedy of our purportedly progressive views on race, both then and now, views that ignore the deep complexities of this issue and thus exacerbate the dilemma they seek to resolve." ROBERT BRAILE

Chicago Tribune


"Her quick-footed style has an alluringly cinematic energy, and even in a hurried tale, Oates packs more insights into human nature into one scene than most novelists can convey in an entire book." DONNA SEAMAN

San Francisco Chronicle


"Perhaps the most remarkable of the book's achievements is this delicate tangle of Genna's obligation to her parents' extreme ideals and her own simple desire to be loved within a conventional home like Minette's...

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