C. Eric Lincoln (1924-2000) was, at the time of his death, William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of Religion and Culture at Duke University. His widely acclaimed publications include "The Black Muslims in America"; "The Black Church Since Frazier"; "Race, Religion, and the Continuing American Dilemma"; and, with Lawrence H. Mamiya and published by Duke University Press, "The Black Church in the African American Experience." He has also written a memoir, "Coming through the Fire," published by Duke University Press, and a collection of poems, "This Road Since Freedom." He is the founding president of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Originally published in 1988, Lincoln's novel creates with deft skill the drama that rises from the lives of the people of Clayton City, a prototypical Southern town, languishing between the two world wars. "One of the best written and most gripping accounts of the African American experience that I have encountered in years".--Henry Louis Gates, Jr.