Billy by Albert FrenchBilly by Albert French


byAlbert French

Paperback | February 1, 1995

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Albert French lights up the monstrous face of American racism in this harrowing tale of ten-year-old Billy Lee Turner, who is convicted and executed for murdering a white girl in Banes County, Mississippi, in 1937. Constructed in a series of powerfully lean vignettes, Billy is a tour de force of dramatic compression, focusing on how this outrageous event affects an entire community. The high-spirited Billy, his mysterious and passionate mother, Cinder, and his friend Gumpy are realized with depth and authority. Told in classic, unrelieved terms yet with remarkable compassion and restraint, their story is an unsentimental and ultimately heart-rending vision of racial injustice.

“A work of art . . . Billy never lets up, not for a minute . . . The images rush straight to your brain. . . . Magnificient.”—Bill McKibben, New York Daily News

“Althought I only knew Billy Lee Turner for an all too brief 214 pages, I will mourn his death for the rest of my life. That’s how powerfully and dramatically written this book is.”—Claude Brown, author of Manchild in the Promised Land

Billy’s strength is not strictly as a novel; it lives as theater. It is a folk opera that . . . moves with unfaltering pace to its shattering climax.”—New York Newsday
Albert French served four years in the US Marines and later worked as a medical photographer and photojournalist. He is the founder of the Pittsburgh Preview Magazine, as well as the author of the novels Billy and Holly, and the memoir Patches of Fire. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Title:BillyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.7 × 5 × 0.6 inPublished:February 1, 1995Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140179089

ISBN - 13:9780140179088

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From Our Editors

Albert French's harrowing debut novel of 10-year-old Billy Lee Turner, convicted and executed for murdering a white girl in Baines, Mississippi, in 1937, is an unsentimental and ultimately heartrending vision of racial injustice. "A work of art . . . Billy never lets up, not for one minute. . . . magnificent".--New York Daily News