Shopping Cart Link

Northeastern University Press

Sign up for our newsletter

Bookmark and Share
Cart link
Paperback add to cart

For Educators
View cart
Add exam ebook
Cover image Click for larger image

The Seeking
Will Thomas; Dorothy Canfield Fisher, intro.; Mark J. Madigan, ed.; Dan Gediman, ed.

Northeastern Library of Black Literature

2013 • 344 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/4"
Biography - Cultural Heritage / African-American Studies / Autobio /African American Hist

$19.95 Paperback, 978-1-55553-827-9
$18.99 Ebook, 978-1-55553-828-6

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“The careful calibration of [Thomas’s] thoughts and emotions is the book’s great strength. We feel the internal divisions, the constant, sometimes unbearable tension between the outer man, who battles living a life circumscribed by race, and the inner man, who dreams of what life could be.”—Valley News

Now back in print, the groundbreaking memoir of one of the first black families in Vermont

Novelist Will Thomas had been a logger in Maine, a crew member on a fishing boat in Alaska, a prizefighter on the West Coast, a scriptwriter in Los Angeles, and a journalist in Kansas City, Chicago, and New York. In 1946 he, his wife, and three children abandoned a plan to move to Haiti to escape racial prejudice in the United States. Instead, they made the improbable decision to purchase a home in tiny Westford, Vermont, twenty miles northeast of Burlington. At the time, the Thomases were the only non-white members of the community. The Seeking is the grim account of the Thomases’ lives before Vermont, their decision to give living in America one last chance, and the moving, heartfelt, uplifting story of their time among the people of Westford—a life, writes Thomas, “not based on race, but on what we and they [were] like as human beings.”

Back in print for the first time in fifty years, this edition includes a new introduction that situates The Seeking in the canon of twentieth-century black literature, and a new afterword that follows the fortunes of Thomas and his family in the years after its initial publication. With appearances by the author’s notable friends, including the novelist Chester Himes and sociologist Horace Cayton, Jr., The Seeking is both a story of one remarkable African-American family and a story of New England race relations in the first half of the twentieth century.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“This African American memoir of rejecting expatriation and exile in favor of the persistent struggle against racism at home is an important, relevant, and fascinating recovery for contemporary Cold War discourse.” —Thadious Davis, University of Pennsylvania

“This meticulously edited autobiography is a gift. Will Thomas’s struggles with racial segregation vividly demonstrate how race is both culturally constructed and inescapable. This story of thwarted individualism should interest anyone concerned with our nation’s racial history.” —Carla Kaplan, Northeastern University

“A ‘must read’.”
—Melba Joyce Boyd, Wayne State University

“Honest, straightforward, and engaging.” —David Budbill, poet and playwright

WILL THOMAS (pseudonym of William Smith, 1900–1970) was the author of the novel God Is for White Folks, published in 1947. MARK J. MADIGAN (introduction) is professor of English at Nazareth College. DAN GEDIMAN (afterword) is executive director of This I Believe, Inc.

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:43:23 -0500