Rosa Guy Publishers Weekly - Essay

Publishers Weekly

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

["Ruby" is] an intensely committed novel talking directly to teenagers, black, white, particularly those who are uncertain and scared of what their loneliness may involve them in. This is a very sensitive novel in which adolescent homosexuality is viewed as nothing so frightening, but perhaps just a way-step towards maturity. Ruby is desperately unhappy, unfairly labeled as an "Uncle Tom" in her school. She becomes drawn to Daphne, a strong, dramatic black girl, who, we will learn, has her own secret fears and family problems. Ruby's father is a lost, lonely widower. Her younger sister is spunky, a reader finding release in books. If Rosa Guy had taken a camera and put it down in 1970 (the year of her novel) on a completely believable black middle class family situation in any big city in America, she could not have achieved a more riveting picture of basically decent people, floundering because of the generation gap. Neatest of all, she has a sense of humor and hope for the future. (pp. 80-1)

A review of "Ruby," in Publishers Weekly (reprinted from the April 19, 1976 issue of Publishers Weekly, published by R. R. Bowker Company, a Xerox company; copyright © 1976 by Xerox Corporation), Vol. 209, No. 16, April 19, 1976, pp. 80-1.