In 1953, when Houghton Mifflin published Ann Lane Petry's third and last novel, The Narrows, the United States was well into the Cold War, stalled in the Korean conflict, and moving toward the early events in the organized Civil Rights Movement. The uneasy domestic calm of the early 1950s, following the turbulent 1940s, would not last long. For Petry, this tense and uncertain social and political environment seemed apt for her story of love across cultural lines in Monmouth, a medium-sized town on the River Wye in Connecticut.
In this novel, which includes vividly drawn characters, a number of sub-plots as well as several interesting motifs, Petry focuses on the varying classes found among African Americans in segregated …
Jimoh, A Yemisi. "The Narrows". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 October 2002
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=57, accessed 26 May 2019.]