Sunday, January 5, 2014

Review: Praying for Sheetrock

Author: Melissa Fay Greene
Title: Praying for Sheetrock
Description: McIntosh County Georgia has been under the thumb of white county sheriff Tom Poppell (and before that, his father) for decades. In the early 70’s, though, the majority black population decides they have had enough.  
Source: It’s on the EW list.
Writing style: This is literary fiction, and Greene is a fine storyteller. In many spots it reads like a novel; she has had interviews with many of the principals here, so has access to many of the thoughts and feelings that are often unavailable to authors of this type of book.
Audience: People interested in race relations, history of the South, and literary nonfiction in general.
Major ideas: The black people in McIntosh County really have no idea that they can change the status quo until they are pushed too far. This is an interesting story of how they realize they can take agency and begin to assume a political role in their own lives.

Wrap-up: I really enjoyed reading this book. Greene did extensive documentary research and interviews, and pieces it together to tell a fascinating story. 4/5*

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