Good Examples * Influential Authors
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GOOD EXAMPLES - Influential Authors

Anne Lane Petry

the first bestselling black woman writer

Renaissance Woman - Anne Lane Petry

by Tracy Roberts

The Street by Anne Lane Petry should be required reading in all college level writing classes not only for the talent encased in the novel but because of the historical aspect as well. Anne Petry became the first black female to write a best selling book in 1946.

This woman of the Harlem Renaissance was raised in an all white New England town and was protected from the hard ghetto life that she later wrote of in The Street.

1938 was a very good year for Mrs. Petry. Soon after being wed she began working for two Harlem publications, Amsterdam News and People's Voice.

In 1943 and '44 Petry honed her creative skills at Columbia University. Soon her short stories were being published in various literary magazines such as Opportunity and Holiday.

1945 also proved to be a banner year for the writer. Several early chapters of The Street earned Ms. Petry the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship award. Once published, The Street brought Mrs. Petry noteriety in The New Yorker, New York Herald Tribune book Review, The Saturday Review of Literature and others.

Anne Lane Petry went on to write a second novel, Country Place. Opposite of her freshman novel, it didn't deal with Black focal characters but instead showed the predjudices in people from several backgrounds. Some of Mrs. Petry's other works include, The Narrow, Miss Muriel and Other Stories, Tituba of Salem Village and Legends of the Saints.

(As far as I know) Mrs. Petry still resides in her hometown of Old Saybrook, Conn.

Renaissance Woman - Anne Lane Petry

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