Books: Feverish Fascination

STRANGE FRUIT—Lillian Smith—Reynal & Hitchcock ($2.75).

At first some Atlanta bookstores refused to stock the book. Strange Fruit, they charged, was "dirty," its picture of the South was dated. By last week Atlanta booksellers, bug-eyed perhaps at the 22,000-copy first printing (and advance sales of almost 20,000) of Lillian Smith's first novel, had changed their minds, ordered heavily.*

Strange Fruit takes its title from a Negro song about a lynching, written by Lewis Allan and sung by Billie Holiday:

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,

Black bodies...

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