Cover for SANFORD: The People from Heaven

The People from Heaven

An extraordinary novel, told partly in verse, The People from Heaven takes place in 1943 in Warrensburg, New York, where Eli Bishop, a white shopkeeper, initiates a reign of terror on the populace following his rape of America Smith, a black woman. The author, John Sanford, is considered by many to be one of the finest little-known writers of the twentieth century. In his introduction, Alan Wald provides an overview of Sanford's career, his art, and his politics.

Originally published in 1943

"The best thing he has ever written and in some ways the most important book of fiction published here in the last twenty years. His language is marvelous." -- William Carlos Williams

"The People from Heaven won for your great talent another sincere admirer in Orson Welles." -- from a letter to the author

"A sacred book, majestic in its rebukes of those who violate the breath and origin of humanity while professing faith and going through the motions of holiness." -- Carl Sandburg

"Only a warm-hearted and perceptive author who believes in the potential worth of humanity could have conceived the most powerful conflicts, the most trenchant syllables here. The fact that it succeeds in provoking an examination of national conscience as well as of personal attitude also suggests its worth." -- New York Herald Tribune

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