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Diane McKinney-Whetstone's lyrical first novel, "Tumbling," vividly captures a tightly knit
African-American neighborhood in South Philadelphia during the forties and fifties. Its central
characters, Herbie and Noon, are a loving but unconventional couple whose marriage remains
unconsummated for many years as Noon struggles to repossess her sexuality after a brutal
attack in her past. While she seeks salvation in the church, Herbie gains sexual gratification
in the arms of a bewitching jazz singer named Ethel, a woman who profoundly affects both
Noon's and Herbie's lives when she leaves with them, first, a baby girl and then later, a
five-year-old named Liz.
When a road planned by the city council threatens to break up this South Philadelphia
neighborhood, the community must band together. Unexpectedly, Noon rises up and takes
the lead in the opposition, fighting for all she's worth to keep her family and community together.
"Tumbling" is a beautiftilly rendered, poignant story about the ties that bind us and the secrets
that keep us apart. With striking lyricism, Diane McKinney-Whetstone keenly guides us through
the world of community, family, and the human heart.
June 29, 2010
5.3 X 8.0 X 1.3 inches | 0.75 pounds
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About the Author
The author of the critically acclaimed novels Tumbling, Tempest Rising, Blues Dancing, Leaving Cecil Street, and Trading Dreams at Midnight, Diane McKinney-Whetstone is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Black Caucus of the American Library Association's Literary Award for Fiction, which she won twice. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband. For more on Diane McKinney-Whetstone please visit www.mckinney-whetstone.com or follow her on Twitter @Dianemckwh.
"Even the air is palpable in TUMBLING. . . . The story moves forth on the power of Ms. Mckinney-Whetstone's characters. Ms. McKinney-Whetstone captures the formidable struggle to protect both a community and a family."--New York Times Book Review
"A densely textured narrative that proves as rich and filling as a well-cooked meal. McKinney-Whetstone's remarkably skillful first effort should place her at the forefront of a generation of emerging African-American women novelists. McKinney-Whetstone is clearly a smart, careful writer who's created a page-turner of a novel with abundant style and irresistible charm."--Washington Post Book World
"An accomplished novel, with sharply drawn characters, exuberant prose, plenty of period detail and a wise, forgiving outlook on family life."--Los Angeles Times Book Review
"[A] beautifully written tale [and] a lyrical read."--USA Today
"[A] remarkable first novel. . . . The story probes beneath its residents' lives to tell a powerful tale of damage and healing."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)