With her second novel, "Cotton County," Eleanor Henderson of the United States portrays the violence of racial segregation after the Civil War without Manichaeism.
The only sweetness of Eleanor Henderson's novel, Cotton County, is that contained in the cotton. The only whiteness emanates from their flowers. Darkness, vivid and threatening, radiates souls damned by hate, unspoken, frustration, corruption. We are in Georgia (United States), in 1930. Elma Jesup, a young white woman, daughter of the operator of a cotton plantation, gives birth to twins. A white girl. A black boy.
Accused of having raped her, a black planter is lynched publicly. The reader from Cotton County would not have liked the existence of whites, Elma Jesup, his father Juke, his fiance Freddie, let alone the life of the black servant Nancy and her father Sterling. And yet, throughout the 656 pages of this book, we attach more than reason to the protagonists, both the contrast between good and bad, cowards and brave
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