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Nikky Finney
Phyllis MacAdam General Editor
Copyright Date: 1997
Pages: 80
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    " Deep in the center of every tree, you'll find the heartwood. The characters in this new book by poet Nikky Finney are the heartwood of their small Kentucky communities. You'll meet Buck Jones and Mae Bennet, whose anger has twisted them up inside, Queenie Sims and Arizona Scott, who can see the good in people, and Trina Sims and Jenny Bryan, two young women who discover how much they are alike despite their different skin color.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-3628-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. iv-iv)
    Virginia G. Smith

    The Kentucky Humanities Council began its New Books for New Readers project because Kentucky’s adult literacy students want books that recognize their intelligence and experience while meeting their need for simplicity in writing. The first nine titles in the New Books for New Readers series have helped many adult students open a window on the wonderful world of literacy. At the same time, the New Books, with their plain language and compelling stories of Kentucky history and culture, have found a wider audience among accomplished readers of all ages who recognize a good read when they see one. As we...

  4. Preface
    (pp. v-vi)
  5. 1. The Secret of Luketown
    (pp. 1-20)

    Trina Sims waited at the train station. She leaned back easy on the hood of her car. She crossed her legs at the ankles and folded her long brown arms softly at the waist. She felt good standing out in the sun, even if she wasn’t sure how long she would have to wait. It had stormed hard the night before. The morning air was clear and clean. She took in a long deep breath and pushed her new sunglasses up tight to her face.

    There were other women waiting in the parking lot, but there were no other black...

  6. 2. Queen Ida’s Hair-Doing House of Waves
    (pp. 21-43)

    Lots of black women did hair in Luketown. Most of them did it just as a favor for a girlfriend, just because they were good at it, and some did it just for fun. They would sit a sister, a niece, or some other family member down in the middle of their kitchen, in the middle of an easy Saturday, laugh, talk and just do hair.

    Ida Sims, who had always been known as “Queenie,” was the only one of them to own her own beauty shop. Queenie Sims was serious about the beauty business. But everybody knew she was...

  7. 3. The Church of the Holy Whiteness
    (pp. 44-62)

    The old one-room church sat out in the middle of the woods, away from Stone Creek and everything else in the whole wide world. It was the oldest building in that part of the state. On one of its eight sturdy legs a large smooth brick read “Built in 1839.”

    The Church of the Holy Whiteness had stood there for more than 150 years. It was old, but it did not look or smell or seem old. In many ways it looked better than any new building around, and it was certainly better kept. Some part of it was always...

  8. 4. Promises to Keep
    (pp. 63-70)

    Trina Sims put on her sunglasses. She knew she was driving too fast through the streets of Taylorsville, but it was Monday morning and she was late to pick up Jenny. The weekend was over. Jenny Bryan had spent it at Moore Farm, talking to Dorothy Moore about the job as house manager. Jenny was heading back to Stone Creek, and Trina couldn’t remember what time she had to be at the train station.

    She had spent all morning trying to work up sales for Queenie’s hair oil. She had been slowed down at her last stop by a crook...

  9. About the Author
    (pp. 71-73)