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Simone Zelitch


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Fiction. African American Studies. Jewish Studies. As Beth Fine would tell her daughter years after Freedom Summer, back in 1964, she was the girl who did everything wrong. She takes part in a wade-in to desegregate a public pool, and almost drowns. When she joins Northern volunteers to staff Freedom Schools and register voters in Mississippi, she speeds down a highway, hits a cow, and ends up in jail for prostitution. Beth believes in questioning authority, and her courage and commitment to social justice both define her and lead to her undoing. Alienated from her family, she still finds herself as an outsider in a movement that exposes the limitations of her good intentions. As she strives to transcend these limitations, her commitment deepens, her questions change, and the nature of authority and justice become harder to determine.

"There has been surprisingly little fiction about the endlessly fascinating, necessary history of the civil rights movement, but WAVELAND is a compelling addition to that short bookshelf. In a variety of voices, Simone Zelitch has caught the complexity, the satisfactions, and the contradictions of those urgent times, and she's quite remarkably given us more than a little of the generations before and after. Brave actions have consequences and this moving novel does honor to those who bore them."--Rosellen Brown, author of Half a Heart and Civil Wars, winner of the Janet Kafka Prize

Head & the Hand Press, 9780989312585, 224pp.

Publication Date: May 5, 2015