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Frank Yerby (Frank Garvin Yerby) Biography

(1916–91), (Frank Garvin Yerby), The Foxes of Harrow, The Vixens, Pride's Castle

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American novelist, born in Augusta, Georgia, educated at Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee. His short story ‘Health Card’ (1944) indicts a white congressman for demanding the eponymous document from a black GI's sweetheart. Yerby became a prolific popular novelist, writing mainly in the historical, or ‘costume novel’, mode. Among his most ambitious and best-known works are The Foxes of Harrow (1946), The Vixens (1947), and Pride's Castle (1949), a trilogy which deals with characters and events during the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Gilded Age periods. The French Revolution figures in The Devil's Laughter (1953) and the anti-Nazi Resistance in The Voyage Unplanned (1974). One of his most entertaining novels, Speak Now (1969), deals with a love affair between a black American jazz musician and a white student from the American South, both caught up in the political turbulence of Paris in 1968. Yerby's African-American roots are particularly evident in his meticulous recreations of the African past in The Dahomean (1971) and A Darkness at Ingraham's Crest (1981).

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