An extraordinary novel, told partly in verse, The People from Heaven takes place in 1943 in Warrensburg, New York, where Eli Bishop, a white shopkeeper, initiates a reign of terror on the populace following his rape of America Smith, a black woman. The author, John Sanford, is considered by many to be one of the finest little-known writers of the twentieth century. In his introduction, Alan Wald provides an overview of Sanford's career, his art, and his politics.
What People are Saying About This
"The best thing he has ever written and in some ways the most important book of fiction published here in the last 20 years. His language is marvelous."
"A sacred book, majestic in its rebukes of those who violate the breath and origin of humanity while professing faith and going through the motions of holiness."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a reprint in a series of leftish authors of the mid-century, mostly 1940s. although giving many accolades, I find it best excised of its so-called verse pssages. but then one woujldhave a novella, not a novel. The style of prose reminds me very much of erkine caldwell. the main attraction to me was it is set in Warrensburg, Warren Couh, New York state, and I was born and raised jujst 11 miles north of Warrensburg (Chestertown). I am angry that this Neew York Jew (neeJulius something) shows us as less than civilized. Upon meditation, I found myh anger is because it is true. During the months September throuigh May, there were no, zip, nada, zelch, NO black people in North Warren County. In 1992 a black school teachner moved into Stone House in Bran t Lake, him and his family. It took several fires before they decided to leave. It is difficult to burn a stone-built house to the ground, but with the help of the Chestertown-Horicon fire departments,it can be done. The only minority person in our high schol was me -- Andy Ray Campanaroi. I stated fist-fighting the first year and by second grade there was no more dago-wop=guinea-greaeball jokes. Each village had its easy women and village drunks, but their childrfen were equal to us in school. we trulyh were a democracyh. but as painful for me as it is to recognize it, that parade mentioned at the endof the book, well, it couldn't have happened any other way in North Warren.