Winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award
A National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
Synopses & Reviews
In the 1970s, a corrupt old-time sheriff and his courthouse gang rules McIntosh County on the flowery coast of Georgia and preyed on the Yankee tourists passing through on their way to Florida. It appeared that the civil rights movement had entirely bypassed the county; the minority white citizenry held all political and economic power. Then the police shooting of an unarmed black man inspired Thurnell Alston, an unemployed father of four, to protest. "The man will stand up," his neighbors said of Alston. He quoted the U.S. Constitution, invited young, white legal-aid lawyers into the county, and forever changed his corner of the rural South...before tragedy in his private life swept him from the stage.
"A beautifully written and absolutely authentic picture of the rural South." Kirkus Reviews
"This book needs to be read by everyone who does not know the deep South and by those who think all of our racial problems were corrected in the 1960s. Young adults of all races would find this more enlightening than many history books." John W. King, Library Journal
"By turns inspiring and sad, [the] story is told with dramatic skill by Atlanta journalist Greene." Publishers Weekly
Finalist for the 1991 National Book Award and a New York Times Notable book, Praying for Sheetrock is the story of McIntosh County, a small, isolated, and lovely place on the flowery coast of Georgia and a county where, in the 1970s, the white sheriff still wielded all the power, controlling everything and everybody. Somehow the sweeping changes of the civil rights movement managed to bypass McIntosh entirely. It took one uneducated, unemployed black man, Thurnell Alston, to challenge the sheriff and his courthouse gang and to change the way of life in this community forever.
An inspiring and absorbing account of the struggle for human dignity and racial equality (Coretta Scott King)
About the Author
Melissa Fay Greene is an award-winning author and journalist whose writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic Monthly, the Chicago Tribune, and Newsweek. She is also the author of Last Man Out: The Story of the Springhill Mine Disaster, The Temple Bombing, and There Is No Me Without You. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.