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Daddy Was A Number Runner

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349015927

Price: £12.99

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With a Foreword by James Baldwin

‘Beautiful, timeless and relevant’ Jacqueline Woodson

‘A most important novel’ Paule Marshall

‘A considerable achievement’ James Baldwin

Depression-era Harlem is home for twelve-year-old Francie Coffin and her family, and it’s both a place of refuge and of danger. Her beloved father becomes a number runner when he is unable to find legal work, and while one of Francie’s brothers dreams of becoming a chemist, the other is in a gang. Francie, too, is a dreamer, but women in her neighbourhood have limited prospects, either selling their bodies on the streets, running poker games or having a baby every year. There are risks in everything, from going to the movies to walking down the block.

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Louise Meriwether has told everyone who can read or feel what it means to be a black man or woman in this country ... A considerable achievement
James Baldwin
Beautiful, timeless and relevant
Jacqueline Woodson
'A remarkable heroine. Tough, resourceful, darting around Harlem with the number slips for her father tucked in her middy-blouse pocket, she is, at the same time, vulnerable, innocent, a dreamer . . . The novel's greatest achievement lies in the strong sense of black life that it conveys: the vitality and force behind the despair. It celebrates the positive values of the black experience: the tenderness and love that often underlie the abrasive surface of relationships . . . the humour that has long been an important part of the black survival kit, and the heroism of ordinary folk . . . A most important novel'
Paule Marshall, New York Times Book Review