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One of the challenge points on the Better World Books 2017 Reading […]
Jewell Parker Rhodes
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Magic City Tells the Tale of Joe, a Black Man Who shines shoes in a Tulsa office building, and Mary, a white farmer's daughter who runs an elevator in the same building. In pain and shock after being raped by the very farm-hand her father wants her to marry, Mary flees to the only safe place she knows -- her job. On the same day, while at work after an argument with his demanding father, an upset Joe decides to not walk the stairs to the "colored" bathrooms on the 14th floor. Ignoring the shocked stares of those around him, he takes the "whites only" elevator -- run by Mary. The doors close, the lift rises, and suddenly a scream rips the air. When the doors open, Mary is on the floor, her skirt around her thighs, and a concerned Joe is standing over her. As Joe flees in fear, the crowd, thinking the worst, does the only thing it knows: it grows into a seething mob that burns the black section of town to cinders. Dramatic, poignant, and beautifully imagined, Magic City is an unforgettable story of two people divided by race, but forever joined by fate.
"A mystical tale, full of spirits.... Rhodes' exciting and moving novel takes off at vigorous, lively clip from the first page, plunging through complex ideas and relationships without neglecting any of them". -- San Francisco Chronicle
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