Maria, Sandra and Andrew discuss an extraordinary novel: an intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. This road novel examines the power – and limitations – of family bonds.
Set deep in Mississippi, a broken family are laid bare, exposed to racial discrimination and violence. This is a topical – and still timeless novel.
We summarize the plot, look at the characters and how they interact, and analyse the narrative power, reading several extracts.
1. Gershwin: ‘Porgy and Bess’, Introduction
2. Bessie Smith: ‘Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home’ (1923)
3. Billie Holliday: ‘Strange Fruit’ (live)
4. Billie Holliday: ‘Strange Fruit’ (1939 recording)
5. Gershwin: ‘Porgy and Bess’ – ‘Summertime’
6. Petie Wheatstraw: ‘Sweet Home Blues’