New York : Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1950. First edition. Hardcover. 308 pages ; 21 cm. $3.00 dust jacket with some wormholes on the front and backside. Small bookshop label on the front free endpaper. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.
J. SAUNDERS REDDING
STRANGER AND ALONE
The dilemma of a man who wants a decent way of life and can find only indecent ways of achieving it is the subject of this revealing first novel. Shelton Howden, son of a white father and a colored mother, able, ambitious, and obsessed by a sense of injustice, wins his private battle against life by successive acts of betrayal. Educated in a small Negro college which is dedicated to the proposition that the Negro is racially inferior and must never be allowed to forget that fact, he can see life only in terms of personal security. Later, as teacher in another college, he is shown the path to security by Perkins Wimbush, its cynical and poisonously eloquent president.
The way in which the politicians of the South make use of the mulatto to exploit the Negro is a theme that has never before been fully presented. In the dramatic turning points of How den's personal life—his affair with President Wimbush's neurotic daughter, his marriage, and his rise to a position of influence—can be seen the warping results of a system that is all the more effective because it is unrecognized.
Mr. Redding's mature and moving novel places the problem of race in its true perspective as a problem of man.
J. SAUNDERS REDDING born in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1906, and graduated from Brown University in 1928. After three years of college teaching, he returned to graduate school for three years, during which time he married. Since the mid-Thirties, Mr. Redding has written intermittently, but as steadily as his present teaching responsibilities at Hampton Institute permit.
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