About this book
First published in 1992, this novel, which follows the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Beloved", is set in 1920s Harlem. The storylines focus on the ancestral history of a man and woman, and on the devastating consequences of the man's affair with a younger woman.
It is 1926 and winter grips Harlem. Joe Trace shoots to death his lover, the impetuous 18-year-old Dorcas. At the funeral his determined, hardworking wife Violet tries to disfigure the corpse with a knife. Their story captures the complex humanity of black American urban life at that time.