The year is 1963, and young Denise Palms has rejoined her family in Detroit where she must work to make a place for herself and prepare for the arrival of her mother's new baby. The baby will mean the end of Denise's afterschool lessons with a stern teacher who insists that Denise learn to speak "proper" English to make herself heard. Verdelle's intuition and ear allow her to dramatize precise moments of Denise's self-recognition and, in the process, offer an inside look at a maturing intelligence. The Good Negress marks the arrival of an original voice in contemporary fiction.
"Truly extraordinary." --Toni Morrison
A Quality Paperback Book Club Selection Winner of the Harold D. Vursell Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters