The Voice at the Back Door

The Voice at the Back Door

by Elizabeth Spencer
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In the mid-1950s, the town of Lacey in the Mississippi hill country is a place where the lives of blacks and whites, though seemingly separate, are in fact historically and inevitably intertwined. When Lacey's fair-haired boy, Duncan Harper, is appointed interim sheriff, he makes public his private convictions about the equality of blacks before the law, and the

…  See more details below

Overview

In the mid-1950s, the town of Lacey in the Mississippi hill country is a place where the lives of blacks and whites, though seemingly separate, are in fact historically and inevitably intertwined. When Lacey's fair-haired boy, Duncan Harper, is appointed interim sheriff, he makes public his private convictions about the equality of blacks before the law, and the combined threat and promise he represents to the understood order of things in Lacey affects almost every member of the community. In the end, Harper succeeds in pointing the way for individuals, both black and white, to find a more harmonious coexistence, but at a sacrifice all must come to regret.

In The Voice at the Back Door, Mississippi native Elizabeth Spencer gives form to the many voices that shaped her view of race relations while growing up, and at the same time discovers her own voice — one of hope. Employing her extraordinary literary powers — finely honed narrative techniques, insight into a rich, diverse cast of characters, and an unerring ear for dialect — Spencer makes palpable the psychological milieu of a small southern town hobbled by tradition but lurching toward the dawn of the civil rights movement. First published in 1956, The Voice at the Back Door is Spencer's most highly praised novel yet, and her last to treat small-town life in Mississippi.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Spencer's] finest work to date.... Technically brilliant... artistically persuasive." — New York Times

"Spencer has written a powerful, moving and true novel of the modern South, a novel that will contribute much pleasure and understanding." — New York Times Book Review

"No two ways about it — The Voice at the Back Door is a practically perfect novel." — The New Yorker

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Spencer's and Taylor's portraits of small-town Southern life in the 1950s help launch LSU's reprints series Voices of the South. (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807119273
Publisher:
Louisiana State University Press
Publication date:
03/28/1994
Series:
Voices of the South Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
378
Sales rank:
908,608
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.78(d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Spencer lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and has written eight other novels, including The Light in the Piazza, The Snare, The Salt Line and The Night Travellers. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >