After the Movement

After the Movement

In Civil Wars, Rosellen Brown has created a remarkable personal view of the long-term effect of the 1960s civil rights movement on two of its participants. Teddy Carll, a native Mississippian, and Jessie Singer, a “red-diaper baby” from New York, meet and marry in the movement. They settle in Mississippi, to live their lives, to work, raise children, and try to “keep the faith.” This is not a favored or common subject in recent fiction. American politics, difficult in any case for novelists to get a handle on, has seemed especially elusive in its more radical forms. Even the civil rights movement, so full of public images of fellowship and actual accomplishment, has not yet provided us with art reflecting that political experience. There have been novels by both blacks and whites about the South and the social conditions that provided the grounds for the movement, but except for Alice Walker’s attempts at mythmaking in Meridian, the movement has not been expressed through the imagination of writers who lived through it.

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Lima