Sounder by William H. Armstrong ; Illustrations by James Barkley
New York : Harper & Row, 1969. Hardcover. 116 pages ; 21 cm. $3.95 dust jacket unclipped. Very good copy in original dust jacket with unmarked pages and square binding.
BY WILLIAM H. ARMSTRONG
Illustrations by James Barkley
Sounder, the great coon dog, has the neck and shoulders of a bulldog and the melodious bay of a hound. When he trees a coon, his voice rolls through the moonlit night and across the flat-lands, louder than any dog's in the whole countryside.
But Sounder cannot save his master —the poor black sharecropper driven to steal for his hungry wife and children. Sounder cannot save him from the sheriff's posse, nor can he save him from fate.
For fate pursues them both, master and coon dog, mauling each of them in its cruel, impersonal jaws while the boy who loves the two of them is forced to bear his sorrow like a man, though he is still a child.
The power of William H. Armstrong's prose and of James Barkley's illustrations quite simply speaks for itself. And though the story burns with indignation, it climbs to moments of nobility and resignation that return, in memory, like a final benediction or the closing of a song.
WILLIAM H. ARMSTRONG was born in Lexington, Virginia, and studied at Hampden-Sydney College and the University of Virginia. He is the author of several articles and books on education, including STUDY IS HARD WORK, published by Harper & Row.
Mr. Armstrong teaches history and study techniques at Kent School in Connecticut, where he lives on a rocky hillside overlooking the Housatonic River.
SOUNDER is his first novel for young readers.
JAMES BARKLEY, a brilliant young artist in the field of book illustration, studied at the School of Visual Arts, where he was on full scholarship for three years. He has done work for Red-book, Seventeen, Playboy, Opera News, and Time-Life, and he has won many awards for his illustrations, including the Society of Illustrators Award for Excellence in 1968 and the Society of Illustrators Gold Medal in 1969.
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