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The Stone Face


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About the Author

William Gardner Smith (1927-1974) was a journalist, novelist, and editor. His first novel, Last of the Conquerors, was published in 1948, followed by Anger at Innocence, South Street, The Stone Face, and Return to Black America. Adam Shatz is the US Editor of the London Review of Books and a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, and The New Yorker, among other publications.


"While there is much to improve in how we support each other at home and across the globe, Smith's novel reminds us of the immense power in solidarity and our duty to always rise up for justice and freedom." -Zeena Yasmine Fuleihan, Ploughshares

"A thought-provoking and an oddly humanizing and liberating book." -Kirkus Reviews

"A complex exploration of power and justice." -Corrine Segal, Lit Hub

"A courageous novel. . . . The Stone Face represents the maturing of a voice determined to confound preconceived notions about patriotism, Blackness and sanctuary, and accordingly the story takes no prisoners, so to speak." -James Hannaham, The New York Times

"The Stone Face explores the shifting nature of cultural identity and social oppression. . . The issues Smith raises in his novel resonate at least as much now as they did six decades ago." -John Powers, Fresh Air

"[William Gardner Smith] captures the murderous 'stone face' of racism in action." -Matthew Wills, JSTOR Daily

"This forthright, morally engaging 1963 novel by a neglected Black expat author applies a distinctly international perspective to questions of race and class. . . Far more than his contemporaries Richard Wright, Chester Himes, and James Baldwin, Smith (1927-74) parlayed his experiences in Paris into universal explorations of race, caste, and colonialism, earning him a place alongside them on library shelves." -David Wright, Library Journal

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