A note on The Darkest Child from Bronwen Hruska, Publisher of Soho Press. Her debut novel Accelerated was published by Pegasus Books this year.
I’m very proud to publish The Darkest Child and am confident that in addition to being a stirring narrative read, this book will inspire and provoke student discussions around topics such as race, gender, class and our nation’s complicated history. Delores Phillips handles the charged issue of entrenched racism with a deft hand. Not only does she brilliantly highlight racism originating with whites—the “standard” narrative of race relations—she also writes stirringly about the complicated relationships within the black community, and the elements therein that proved just as destructive to the advancement of the next generation, sometimes more so than the more highly visible outrages like segregation.
We found this novel in the “slush pile” of unagented submissions in 2002, and it terrifies me to think that this important novel might never have found its way into the world. Stories like Tangy Mae’s are vital to a full understanding of our spotty racial history, as well as the cultural and systemic legacy that lingers even today. I sincerely hope you will consider adopting this book as a significant, nuanced contribution to your reading program.