Four tenant families, some black and some white, lived on the farm owned by author John Keith’s family as a child. Although no one who grew up on the farm except for him was active in the civil rights movement, in Canebrake Beach he imagines what would happened to members of black and white families as they progress from the Jim Crow era and beyond. The other short stories in the book explore friendships, relationships, and conflicts of white and black people in the South at various intervals over a span of seventy years.
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About the Author
John Matthew Keith began writing fiction as a student at Duke University where he was awarded the Anne Flexner Memorial Prize (presented by William Styron). His recent books are Complete Humanity in Jesus: A Theological Memoir (2009) and True Divinity in Christ: A Testimony of Faith and Hope with Four Short Stories (2010), Canebrake Beach: A Novella and Four Short Stories (2012), and Nicaraguan Gringa (2014).
John is a retired Episcopal priest living in Fearrington Village, North Carolina, with his wife, Rilla. Their daughter, Lauren, and grandchildren, Lennox, age seven, and Arabella, age four, live nearby in Durham, North Carolina.
John graduated magna cum laude from Duke University and cum laude from Harvard Divinity School. After John served churches in North Carolina, Nicaragua, and France, the majority of his ministerial career was in Alabama, including Marion, Opelika, and the Montgomery area where he lived for twenty-four years.