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March 13, 2013
6.75 Inches (US)
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.6 Pounds (US)
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v2.1 Reference

Her Own Place

Her Own Place traces the life and times of Mae Lee Barnes, an African American woman from rural South Carolina. The novel begins with Mae Lee's life as a teenager in the 1940s and follows her eventual marriage to her boyfriend, Jeff Barnes, who proposes before going off to fight in World War II. While Jeff is in the army, Mae Lee works rotating shifts at a local munitions plant and saves every penny she can to purchase a small farm. When Jeff returns from the war, he alternates between spending time on the farm and going to find work in the city, and eventually the family decides to start a new life in the city together. The day their new life is to begin, Jeff abandons Mae Lee and their five children, and the story traces Mae Lee's struggles and triumphs after Jeff leaves, including her challenges as a single parent on a working farm, her life after her children are grown, the realities of racial integration in the South, and the realization that her memory is slipping away.


"Somewhere in the first five pages of Her Own Place the glow begins. . . . And you begin to glow because it just feels so good."—Boston Globe

"Ms. Sanders' writing [is] sweet, genuine, comic, unsentimental but eternally forgiving. . . . Indeed, something to delight in, a fresh wind above the stale cynicism that spoils so much of contemporary literature."—Dallas Morning News

"This story belongs to Mae Lee Barnesand reflects a life punctuated by the births, graduations, weddings and deaths that shape our memories. . . . But this is more than the success story of one indomitable black matriarch. Sanders sets her novel during times of changes, inviting us to speculate on the broader implications of the social realignment brought on by the civil rights movement. . . . Sanders writes in a vernacular she can understand, about a lifestyle she knows intimately. . . . A voice that should appeal to anyone."—Washington Post

9781611172447 : her-own-place-sanders
Paperback / softback
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