Neighbors and Other Stories – Diane Oliver
‘This breathtaking collection is a marvel … One of my literary foremothers.’ Tayari Jones
‘Astute, brilliantly observed, these timeless stories are remarkable. It’s all the more poignant to know the writer died at such a heartbreakingly young age:’ Jackie Kay
‘Oliver exquisitely projects the biggest narrative of mid-century America – Jim Crow – onto the smallest realities of everyday Black life. These stories are all gems.’ Mendez
‘Prose of such unexpected grace, with such sharp Gothic swerves, that you hold your breath, completely at Oliver’s mercy. What a talent.’ Lucy Caldwell
And she was becoming frightened too, looking at all those white faces pressed against the windowpanes. One Black family comes under attack as their little boy prepares to start at an all-white school. Friends plan a protest sit-in at the Rose Crest Tea Room, only to be arrested. The first Black student – always the ‘Experiment’ – retreats into her closet at a newly integrated college. And when a social worker enters a secluded woodland cabin, she meets the fate of all visitors . . . Tragically killed aged twenty-two in 1966, Diane Oliver’s masterly stories resonate today with renewed urgency.
Steeped in the nightmarish horror of life for the Black community in the Jim Crow-era American South, these chilling tales explore toxic racism and the human toll of activism for ‘the cause’ with heartbreaking empathy and wisdom. Depicting African American families whole and broken, daily injustices and life-threatening political struggle, Neighbors restores a lost star to the twentieth-century literary canon.