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“The lowlands of Delphi, Mississippi—a small town in the pre-civil rights era—hold the cotton fields of the wealthy and the shanties of the black sharecroppers who serve them, in. The homes of the town’s white citizenry sit on higher ground, reflecting the rigid racial and social stratification. Underlying the social stratification are layers of emotional and relational ties that bring together two women struggling to recover from the loss of their sons. Hazel Graham, who came to Delphi from the Appalachians with her ambitious husband, Floyd, is gradually losing herself to alcoholism and medical sedation. Hazel’s maid, Vida, a lifelong resident and daughter of a local minister who has fallen from the favor of the powerful senator, is simmering with vengeance and determined to find her lost son. With the commonality of their loss and the sense of invisibility within the constraints of the small town, the two women move from loathing to mutual reliance and finally friendship on the eve of social changes seeping into the South.” 

“Fast-paced but thoughtful story of a friendship across the racial divide in 1950′s Mississippi. Odell is the rare writer on race who allows for a range of responses-and for the possibility of change.” 
Kirkus Reviews

“Jonathan Odell’s gangbusters debut, The View from Delphi, delivers…Odell ultimately proves himself a master craftsman in this beautiful novel. This lyrical voice, unflinching in its honesty, no doubt has many more courageous tales to tell about race in America.”
Minneapolis StarTribune

“Not a single character, black or white, receives short shrift in this remarkable novel.”
Rocky Mountain News

“A well-told story about a pair of families who find their lives altered by the bigotry of a small-minded sheriff … Odell clearly knows his setting and shows obvious compassion for his characters.”
Publishers Weekly


Watch Interview with Jonathan Odell on Mississippi Public Broadcasting

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2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Jonathan Odell tells Commonweal Magazine (a lay Catholic journal of opinion) about an invitation to be the token [...]

  2. By The Healing, Indeed « Sallysmart's Blog on 21 Mar 2012 at 3:29 am

    [...] years ago I read The View from Delphi by Jonathan Odell, an author who grew up in Mississippi and eventually found his home in [...]

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