Category: the foxes of harrow

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Top Five Frank Yerby Novels: Part I

At this moment, I am almost exactly halfway through Frank Yerby’s oeuvre. During his career, he published thirty-three novels, and at the time of this writing, I am reading my seventeenth, Devilseed (1984). I’ve been reading Yerby for about five years now, working, in my spare time, to complete his works. I have twenty-four of his novels on my shelf, so I still need … Read More Top Five Frank Yerby Novels: Part I

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The “Visceral Feelings” of Racism in Frank Yerby’s “Griffin’s Way”

Throughout his career, Frank Yerby confronted whiteness and white supremacy in his novels. He looked at the ways that racism, xenophobia, nationalism, and oppression affected the oppressor as well as the oppressed. This is what Lillian Smith does throughout her work. It’s what Harper Lee attempts to do in To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s what Toni Morrison says we should do in Playing in … Read More The “Visceral Feelings” of Racism in Frank Yerby’s “Griffin’s Way”

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The Mythologized South in Frank Yerby’s “Griffin’s Way”

I have to admit, when I started reading Frank Yerby’s Griffin’s Way (1962) I was not impressed. Having written 33 novels over the course of his career, I knew I wouldn’t like all of them, but Griffin’s Way struck me, from the beginning, as odd. I didn’t really like the organization of Candace Trevor’s section. It seemed really disjointed and not at all what … Read More The Mythologized South in Frank Yerby’s “Griffin’s Way”

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“The Prince of Pulpsters” or “Debunker of Myths”: Frank Yerby Syllabus

When reading Frank Yerby’s work, I keep asking one question over and over again: “Why isn’t anyone teaching these texts?” I know that some scholars teach Yerby; however, compared to other authors, his appearance in the classroom is minuscule. I had heard the name, in passing, during my graduate work; however, I never saw him in any anthologies or read any of his books … Read More “The Prince of Pulpsters” or “Debunker of Myths”: Frank Yerby Syllabus

Multicultural Cities in Frank Yerby

Throughout his oeuvre, Frank Yerby works to deconstruct myths of the Old South and historical misinformation. Along with these goals, he also dismantles the dichotomy of Black and White; instead, he populates his works with individuals and scenes that defy a simplistic characterization. In this manner, Yerby shows that race is not a biological fact; rather, it is a social construct. One of the … Read More Multicultural Cities in Frank Yerby

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Racial Signification in Frank Yerby’s “The Foxes of Harrow”

In “Reconstructions of Racial Perception: Margaret Mitchell’s and Frank Yerby’s Plantation Romances,” Mark C. Jerng argues that Frank Yerby’s The Foxes of Harrow “engages with the specific techniques of deploying racial signification in [Gone With the Wind], in particular by when race appears in the background and when it is foregrounded.” Jerng looks at the ways that Yerby challenges and reverses the racial associations … Read More Racial Signification in Frank Yerby’s “The Foxes of Harrow”

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The Ghosts of Harrow

Currently, I am working on an essay that examines Frank Yerby’s The Foxes of Harrow¬†(1946) and the 1947 film adaptation that appeared a year after its publication. As such, I recently reread Yerby’s debut and wanted to comment on a couple of items that I noticed. Today, I want to take the time to look at the opening couple of pages in the novel. … Read More The Ghosts of Harrow

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Charlottesville: What do I do in the classroom?

At the end of Frank Yerby’s The Foxes of Harrow (1946), Stephen Fox thinks about his son Etienne. The Civil War has just ended, and Stephen ponders what the racism and hate that Etienne carries within himself will bring for the future. Etienne’s feelings and ideas will lead to more bloodshed, more dead bodies, and a stunted progress towards equality. The events in Charlottesville, … Read More Charlottesville: What do I do in the classroom?

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Frank Yerby’s Benton’s Row and Southern Womanhood

In its review (above) of Frank Yerby's Benton's Row (1954), Jet Magazine mentions the novel's early narrative arc that follows Tom Benton's arrival in the Louisiana community and his relationship with Sarah. The reviewer comments that Tom "is not at all unlike all the other Yerby heroes" and that "in the typical Yerby mold [Tom] emerges as a thoroughgoing rascal, an opportunist who seizes what … Read More Frank Yerby’s Benton’s Row and Southern Womanhood

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Frank Yerby and the Myth of Valor

Frank Yerby’s Benton’s Row appeared in 1954, eight years after his debut novel The Foxes of Harrow (1946) In many ways, the narrative arcs are similar: a mysterious man comes to town, under mysterious circumstances, he makes a fortune, has numerous lovers, and his dynasty crumbles by the end of the novel. While The Foxes of Harrow focuses on Stephen Fox almost exclusively, ending … Read More Frank Yerby and the Myth of Valor