Keith Clark, "The Radical Fiction of Ann Petry" (Louisiana State UP, 2013)


What do you do if you accompany a friend on her research trip to Boston University's Gotlieb Archival Research Center and end up finding a treasure trove of letters, news articles, hand written notes, and original drafts of nonfiction by one of your favorite authors? Keith Clark wrote a book. A truly insightful and wonderful one on the known but understudied Ann Petry. The title? The Radical Fiction of Ann Petry (Louisiana State University Press, 2013). Those familiar with the work of Petry probably know her mid-century, naturalist novel The Street and probably place among the likes of Richard Wright. However, Clark expands our notion of Petry's work, takes us on a journey that shows her work within other traditions, such as gothic, modernism and realism. He also shows her as a politically active figure, even writing letters to presidents. This book is a must read for any interested in any of the topics Clark undertakes, since he handles each with care, deft, and discernment. He's equally loquacious and informative during our interview. Please, listen in.

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