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This Body The Earth book cover

About the Book

THIS BODY THE EARTH is a republication of the 1935 edition by Harper & Brothers Publishers.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green (1894-1981) used his powerful pen to chronicle the lives of ordinary people.  Marked by a deep moral seriousness, his plays, novels, and stories reveal the wastefulness and injustice of racial inequality, the frustration of unfulfilled dreams, the manifestations of hatred, the costs of heroic social action.

Written in the years of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the novel looks back to a generation earlier, to the post-Reconstruction South, when poor whites vied with former slaves and the offspring of slaves to eke out an existence from land they seldom owned.

In passages of almost unremitting sorrow and weariness Green conveys the seasonal burdens of the sharecropper, the dismal life of toil and physical pain that was the lot of people who lived in the shotgun tenant houses.

But he also depicts the sparks of endurance and courage that Green so admired as the right of every human being, and whose story he celebrated time and again in his plays, in novels and short stories.

This Body the Earth chronicles the dreams and ambitions, the burdens and struggles of Alvin Barnes and his family, sharecroppers in North Carolina, 1885 - 1920.  It remains one of the great tragic stories of the old South.

The 2003 soft cover reprint contains the unabridged text of the original and adds a biography of the author, an introduction by Laurence Avery, and an afterword by Avery Russell.

You can find critical praise of the novel here.

Order This Body the Earth from:

The Paul Green Foundation, PO Box 2624, Chapel Hill, NC 27515
Include a check for $18 postpaid, made out to the Paul Green Foundation.