By Gwendoline Y. Fortune
intricately crafted novel of homecoming and the South.
Born to a family
of relative privilege, Gayla Tyner is everything that defines the
"upper class." She grew up as a daughter of medical professionals,
possessors of education and property. In protected places, she was
special, a young woman of poise and intellect. In other places,
she found she was "just a nigger," an African-American
female who was viewed as one who put on airs, the subject of envy
and ostracism: she was "nigger rich." As an adult, Gayla
is haunted by the South, what it means, has meant, and what is becoming.
A professor at a major university in Michigan, the daughter of a
prominent M.D., a dutiful wife and mother, she seems to have everything
going for her. Memories of her past haunt her as she struggles to
find her place as professor, mother, wife, and daughter. Nothing
is as simple as black and white.
from Growing Up Nigger Rich placed in the top twelve entries of
the annual Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society competition and second
place in the National Black Writers' Conference Awards.
Chapter 1 (in PDF format)