Books: Guiana Belle

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SYLVIA (316 pp.)—Edgar Mittelholzer—John Day ($4).

Sylvia Russell's complexion was pale olive and her eyes were limpid hazelgreen, but her hair was her crowning glory. It was what British Guiana called "Good Hair": it came flaxen straight from her immigrant cockney father and gave no hint, by frizz or kink, that Sylvia's mother was "a low-class girl" of "Buck" (Guiana Indian) and Negro parentage. Sylvia could not claim to belong to "the respectable middle class" of old and established colored families, but she was tony enough to attend...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!