Ben's Reviews > The Store

The Store by Thomas S. Stribling
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Apr 27, 12

bookshelves: pulitzer
Read from April 19 to 26, 2012

The Store by Thomas Sigismund (TS) Stribling won the Pulitzer in 1933 and is the 2nd in his Vaiden trilogy. This book takes place in November of 1884 as Grover Cleveland is being elected the first Democratic President since the Civil War. The book's main character is Miltiades (Milt) Vaiden a former Colonel in the Confederate Army and KKK member. In this book taking place some years after the first (the Forge) he is married and has no money. The book focuses on the post-war relations between the White former slave owners and the former slaves. The black characters in the book are free only by law - but still acting as slaves. Although Vaiden is a former KKK member he seems to treat them as well as anyone - although there is still distrust of them. The language used is pretty offensive today but probably pretty accurate. The "N"-word is used pretty regularly and after a while you just accept it - this is the way they spoke. The former slaves speak uneducated English and much of what they are saying is tough to read. There is much inter-relations and children between the white owners and the black women. This is pretty well accepted and known - although the reverse situation is thought of as disgusting. What is interesting is the symbiotic relationship between the two cultures.
Stribling's prose is eloquent and this contains elements of theocracy, race relations, poverty etc.
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