About this item

The Street tells the poignant, often heartbreaking story of Lutie Johnson, a young black woman, and her spirited struggle to raise her son amid the violence, poverty, and racial dissonance of Harlem in the late 1940s. Originally published in 1946 and hailed by critics as a masterw



About the Author

Ann Petry

Ann Petry (October 12, 1908 - April 28, 1997) was an American author who became the first black woman writer with book sales topping a million copies for her novel The Street. The wish to become a professional writer was raised in Ann for the first time in high school when her English teacher read her essay to the class commenting on it with the words: "I honestly believe that you could be a writer if you wanted to. " The decision to become a pharmacist was her family's. She turned up in college and graduated with a Ph. G. degree from Connecticut College of Pharmacy in New Haven in 1931 and worked in the family business for several years. She also began to write short stories while she was working at the pharmacy. On February 22, 1938, she married George D. Petry of New Iberia, Louisiana, which brought Petry to New York. She not only wrote articles for newspapers such as The Amsterdam News, or The People's Voice, and published short stories in The Crisis, but also worked at an after-school program at P.S. 10 in Harlem. It was during this period of her life that she had realized and personally experienced what the majority of the black population of the United States had to go through in their everyday life. Traversing the streets of Harlem, living for the first time among large numbers of poor black people, seeing neglected children up close - Petry's early years in New York inevitably made impressions on her. Impacted by her Harlem experiences, Ann Petry used her creative writing skills to bring this experience to paper. Her daughter Liz explained to the Washington Post that "her way of dealing with the problem was to write this book, which maybe was something that people who had grown up in Harlem couldn't do. "Petry's most popular novel The Street was published in 1946 and won the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship with book sales topping a million copies. Back in Old Saybrook in 1947, the writer worked on Country Place (1947) , The Narrows (1953) , other stories, and books for children, but they have never achieved the same success as her first book. Until her death Petry lived in an 18th-century house in her hometown, Old Saybrook. She drew on her personal experiences of the hurricane in Old Saybrook in her 1947 novel, Country Place. Although the novel is set in the immediate aftermath of World War II, Petry identified the 1938 New England huricane as the source for the storm that is at the center of her narrative. Ann Lane Petry died at the age of 88 on April 28, 1997. She was outlived by her husband, George Petry, who died in 2000, and her only daughter, Liz Petry.(from Wikipedia)



Read Next Recommendation

Discuss with your friends


Report incorrect product information.