(From the publisher):
The motifs and themes of this rich, intricately textured realistic novel belong to the American experience of the 1950s and 1960s. But the vision of the life that animates them is so clear and unflinching that the past comes to us with the force of revelation. Once again, to read a new Oates novel is to enter a new world.
In a small city in upstate New York, in the decade before the upsurge of the civil rights movement, when racial prejudice seemed inflexible and habitual, we are introduced to two families struggling to advance themselves—the Courtneys, who are white, and the Fairchilds, who are black. The invisible color line separates them; each family is secure (or so it seems) in its own world, but there is a strange, virtually subterranean link. When Iris Courtney is a young girl, she is the only witness to a murderous street fight between Jinx Fairchild and a white man who has threatened her. A bond of passion and guilt is formed between the two—at first unstated, then slowly, year by year, gathering force until it must inevitably declare itself, and the consequences are fateful. Parallel to this story of extraordinary passion are the lives and struggles of the two families: like mirror images of each other, and of the country in which they live, each moves from a time of high promise to an age of embittered violence.
Original title: Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction→ Ethnic And Multicultural