Lyrical, penetrating, and highly charged, this novel displays a delicately tuned sense of difference and belonging. Poet Angela Jackson brings her superb sense of language and of human possibility to the story of young Magdalena Grace, whose narration takes readers through both privilege and privation at the time of the American civil rights movement. The novel moves from the privileged yet racially exclusive atmosphere of the fictional Eden University to the black neighborhoods of a Midwestern city and to ancestral Mississippi. Magdalena's story includes a wide range of characters - black and white, male and female, favored with opportunity or denied it, the young in love and elders wise with hope. With and through each other, they struggle to understand the history they are living and making. With dazzling perceptiveness, Jackson's narrator Magdalena tells of the complex interactions of people around her who embody the personal and the political at a crucial moment in their own lives and in the making of America.
Angela Jackson was born in Greenville, Mississippi, raised on Chicago's South Side, and educated at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Her Dark Legs and Silk Kisses: The Beatitudes of the Spinners, winner of the 1993 Chicago Sun-Times Book of the Year Award in Poetry and the 1994 Carl Sandberg Award for Poetry, and her selected poems, And All These Roads Be Luminous, are both published by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern.