Essay about Critical Appreciation of Ann Petry
A Brief Biography
Ann Petry’s birth date is not certain: earlier biographers place her birth on October 12, 1911, while later it has been stated as October 12, 1908. In any case, she was born in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, and a predominantly white, rural community. Ann was the second daughter of Peter C. Lane, pharmacist, and Bertha James Lane, licensed chiropodist, barber, and entrepreneur. Ann’s family was solidly middle class, including two college educated aunts, and several generations of pharmacists. The Lanes often told autobiographical and fictional stories while she was growing up, and Ann began writing short stories and plays while she …show more content…
Her first published story, “On Saturday the Siren Sounds at Noon”, appeared in 1943 in the Crisis, a magazine published monthly by the NAACP. In 1946 Petry’s “Like a Winding Sheet” was named Best American short story of 1946. Later, she began work on her first novel, The Street, which was published in 1946 and for which she received the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, which was the starting of her writing career.
The Street follows the life and memories of Lutie Johnson and her son, Bub, as she seeks stability and independence in a predominantly black, poor Harlem. Lutie is a strong, beautiful, African-American single mother and unusual heroine for that time, and through her experiences, we learn about the challenges that arise from the class, race, and gender biases of the day. Petry doesn’t treat these issues independently but rather highlights their intersection and shows the reader what challenges exist within that convergence. The Street is arguably Petry’s most critically discussed novel.
Country Place which was better fit in a category of writing called “White life writing”, a type