Fire in Beulah

Fire in Beulah

Rilla Askew / Feb 22, 2020

Fire in Beulah Rilla Askew s first novel The Mercy Seat which was lauded as powerful and arresting by The New York Times Book Review and an extraordinary story by the Boston Globe proved that she was not afraid to

  • Title: Fire in Beulah
  • Author: Rilla Askew
  • ISBN: 9780670888436
  • Page: 332
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Rilla Askew s first novel, The Mercy Seat, which was lauded as powerful and arresting by The New York Times Book Review and an extraordinary story by the Boston Globe proved that she was not afraid to tackle big, primal American themes Her newest, Fire in Beulah, set in the same heartland territory as The Mercy Seat, is a chronicle of race, greed, and moral choice in theRilla Askew s first novel, The Mercy Seat, which was lauded as powerful and arresting by The New York Times Book Review and an extraordinary story by the Boston Globe proved that she was not afraid to tackle big, primal American themes Her newest, Fire in Beulah, set in the same heartland territory as The Mercy Seat, is a chronicle of race, greed, and moral choice in the tense days of the Oklahoma oil rush At its center is the complex relationship between Althea Whiteside an oil wildcatter s high strung wife who escaped from a hardscrabble childhood and her enigmatic black maid, Graceful Both are caught in the relentless currents of family and violence Their contrapuntal stories and those of others close to them unfold against a volatile backdrop of fear, hate, and lynchings that climax in the Tulsa race riot of 1921, during which whites burn the city s prosperous black section to the ground The conflagration of the riot becomes the crucible that melds and tests each of the characters their story is the American story of race, a tale that declares the simple truth that we are irrevocably tied to one another.

    Fire in Beulah by Rilla Askew Jan , Fire in Beulah . Rating details Ratings Reviews Set during the tense days of the Oklahoma oil rush, Rilla Askew s Fire in Beulah is a mesmerizing story that centers on the complex relationship between Althea Whiteside, an oil wildcatter s high strung wife, and Graceful, her enigmatic black maid. Fire in Beulah Rilla Askew Books race riot fire in beulah tulsa race historical fiction rilla askew oklahoma words event known oil account pure sense Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Rilla Askew Fire in Beulah Fire in Beulah Fire in Beulah A Novel About the Tulsa Race Riot On the evening of May , , in Tulsa, Okla a mob of whites congregated in front of the city jail, where an African American man was being held for assaulting a white woman. Fire in Beulah by Rilla Askew PenguinRandomHouse Books About Fire in Beulah Set during the tense days of the Oklahoma oil rush, Rilla Askew s Fire in Beulah is a mesmerizing story that centers on the complex relationship between Althea Whiteside, an oil wildcatter s high strung wife, and Graceful, her enigmatic black maid. Fire in Beulah Historical Novel Society Fire in Beulah Fire in Beulah examines events, including lynching, racial warfare and land grabbing, that occurred during Oklahoma s oil boom of the s It opens with one of the most brutal and disturbing birth scenes imaginable, a scene which introduces three of the novel s principal characters and provides the background needed Fire in Beulah by Rilla Askew, Paperback Barnes Noble Fire in Beulah by Rilla Askew Set during the tense days of the Oklahoma oil rush, Rilla Askew s Fire in Beulah is a mesmerizing story that centers on the complex relationship between Althea Whiteside, an oil wildcatter s high strung wife, and Graceful, her enigmatic black maid. FIRE IN BEULAH by Rilla Askew Kirkus Reviews From the talented and ambitious Askew The Mercy Seat, , a second novel set in her native state of Oklahoma, this time a tale of primal guilt and racial intolerance during the oil boom In Tulsa, Althea Dedham is known as the spoiled wife of Franklin, an oil speculator who may finally have found his big strike down by the Deep Fork River. Fire in Beulah The New York Times nytimes Nov , Fire in Beulah It swept down from the north, and in its scent was no salt sea breath but the smell of deep blue, of ice and indigo the roiling breath of the great northern plain Not steady now but a spitting, cold, fretful thing, it rose and fell, gusted and

    • Best Read [Rilla Askew] ☆ Fire in Beulah || [History Book] PDF ✓
      332 Rilla Askew
    • thumbnail Title: Best Read [Rilla Askew] ☆ Fire in Beulah || [History Book] PDF ✓
      Posted by:Rilla Askew
      Published :2018-011-26T01:13:53+00:00

    About "Rilla Askew"

      • Rilla Askew

        Rilla Askew received a 2009 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters Her essays and short fiction have appeared in a variety of journals, and her story The Killing Blanket was selected for Prize Stories 1993 The O Henry Awards Askew s first novel, THE MERCY SEAT, was nominated for the PEN Faulkner Award, the Dublin IMPAC Prize, was a Boston Globe Notable Book, and received the Oklahoma Book Award and the Western Heritage Award in 1998 FIRE IN BEULAH, her acclaimed novel about the Tulsa Race Riot, received the American Book Award and the Myers Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights She was a 2004 fellow at Civiella Ranieri in Umbertide, Italy, and in 2008 her novel HARPSONG received the Oklahoma Book Award, the Western Heritage Award, the WILLA Award from Women Writing the West, and the Violet Crown Award from the Writers League of Texas Askew received the 2011 Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book Her novel KIND OF KIN deals with state immigration laws and was a finalist for the Western Spur Award, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, and was long listed for the Dublin IMPAC Prize Her most recent book is a collection of creative nonfiction MOST AMERICAN Notes From A Wounded Place Kirkus Reviews calls Most American An eloquently thoughtful memoir in essays In nine linked works of creative nonfiction, Askew spotlights the complex history of her home state From the Trail of Tears to the Tulsa Race Riot to the Murrah Federal Building bombing, Oklahoma appears as a microcosm of our national saga Yet no matter our location, Askew argues, we must own the whole truth of our history if the wounds of division that separate us are ever to heal Five generations of Rilla Askew s family have occupied southeastern Oklahoma Celebrating this birthright, she has concocted of it her own Faulknerian kingdom Askew is writing a mythic cycle, novels and stories that unsettle our view of the West s settling In a continuous fictional mural populated with hardscrabble souls credible, noble and flawed Askew is completing the uncompleted crossing of the plains Trusting prose that is disciplined, luxuriant and muscular, she is forging a chronicle as humane as it is elemental Allan GurganusMay 20, 2009American Academy of Arts and Letters


    1. "Whose hand set them houses afire? Not God's hand. God don't make that gun on the hill to spit and chatter, He haven't created machines to fly in the air above smoke and drop fire in jars and bottles, to make fire on God's people, by God's people, to kill God's people, Lord, Lord." Nothing saddens me more - breaking my heart into a thousand shards of sorrow - than to learn of, read about, atrocities committed in the name of hatred and prejudiced. Prejudice spawned by fear, ignorance, and greed; [...]

    2. This is a devastating book, hard to read, hard to put down, hard to begin, and it haunts the reader's day, especially the Oklahoma reader with some connection to Eastern Oklahoma and Tulsa. The climactic scenes ofFire in Beulahexplode in the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, but the book is less about race and more about kinship, Rilla Askew's recurring theme. The threads of relationship draw two women, one white, one black, more tightly to one another as the events spin out, and each woman grows gentler [...]

    3. This is hands-down the best book I have ever read. Yes, it is deep and lengthy, but the raw nature, the intensity, the history!!! I heard Askew speak once, and she answered many of the questions that I had held about the book. The amount of research and time that went into this book is obvious (more than 10 years by the way). Needless to say, I would recommend this to everyone.

    4. This is an intense book, but gripping and very well-written. They say there's nothing like fiction for placing you inside the head of someone who is very different from yourself, and this book is a fine example of that rule. While the writing is a little overdone at times, I still think it's worth reading. I was interested in reading this because I grew up in Tulsa, and the story of the race riot was always present, but I had never really explored it historically. Fire in Beulah really personali [...]

    5. When I think of the opening setting of Fire in Beulah, I do not get the image of a family like the March family in Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women. Fire in Buelah has quite the opposite environment. The lady of the Whiteside residence, Rachel Whiteside makes the choice of protecting herself inside her upstairs bedroom. Her reasoning of not wanting the wind "suck the life from her unborn child" (3) seems logical enough. For the previous seven days, the south wind has struck the Deep Fork R [...]

    6. This stand alone great book, published in 2001, is a must read for anyone. But it is especially poignant for people who was reared in or are currently living in Oklahoma. This is the story of the relationship between an oil wildcatter's wife, Althea, and her housemaid, Graceful. This 1920's historical novel takes place around northeastern and central Oklahoma leading up to the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921. A truly sad and pathetic story of greed, hate, mistrust, lawlessness and redemption. Stories l [...]

    7. Fictional account set in the years & days leading up to the Tulsa Race Riot in 1921. This was my second read through of this book. I have since the first reading of it praised it as an eye opener into the dark oily gritty side of Oklahoma history. However after my second read through the characters to me come off as flat and the POV jumps. There are text type changes which is probably why there is no Kindle version of this book or large print which is a shame for older readers. But even then [...]

    8. This is a fictionalized account of the Tulsa race riots in 1921. While not a genre I'd typically go for, I picked up this book and was immediately hooked. Askew's writing is haunting and mesmerizing; from the first sentence you sense the impending doom.

    9. Vivid detail, captivating, horrifying. A necessary exploration of race, sex, history, and violence.This reviewer said it best.

    10. I read this last year for the Oklahoma Centennial. It was a good way to find out some of the history of Tulsa, but at times hard to plow through. Parts of it are intensely boring, however, overall not a bad book if you are into Oklahoma authors and historical fiction.

    11. All it was cracked up to be. Had me in the first page and a half! I was kind of tired of historical fiction, I thought. Can't wait to read the rest of her books. Thanks for the referral, Susan!

    12. This was a great book, although complicated. It tells the story of a black woman and a white woman living in Tulsa in the 20's just before the race riot. Graceful works for Althea as a maid and while Althea often isn't kind to her, she desperately needs Graceful. The story has rich language of the early oilfield and terms I haven't heard in a long time were used to describe drilling new holes looking for oil. Althea comes from poverty, but has hidden that secret well and is now the wife of a wea [...]

    13. This was very disappointing. I had expected it to be about the Tulsa race riots but it was really about race. I didn't find it to be well written either, it was difficult to read and even understand what was happening in several cases.

    14. This book was hard to read but worth it. The stories of Althea, an oil man's wife, Graceful, her black maid and Iola, a freed woman with mineral rights are woven together in a slow burn that leads to a terrible climax. An important book dealing with race in the US and specifically Oklahoma.

    15. WEll, there is a lot of history as well as a gripping story of the two main characters. It is tense, it is painful, it feels true.

    16. I haven't read that many books about Oklahoma, and the part of the state where I live is probably pretty different from the places around Tulsa where this one's set, so take this with a grain of salt, but: man, this is a really good account of the way the environment impacts your experience of the place. I never cared so much about the weather until I moved here. It matters so much.Fire in Beulah is maybe not the book to read if you're looking for a minute account of the Tulsa Race Riot. Its foc [...]

    17. Rilla Askew is an extremely talented and visionary writer;she is proud of being an Oklahoman and has set herself the task of telling the myriad stories of her state's origins, in the multiple voices of all its peoples,whites,blacks,Native American,Latino,etalia. As she proved in The Mercy Seat, she knows how to inhabit the dreams and sensibilities of people of color and alternate ethnicity.Her descriptive ability rivals the greatest American authors, so it was with great anticipation that I pick [...]

    18. This was a selection for our book club that specializes in books on race in America. Our book group mostly reads nonfiction so it’s always a treat when we put a good novel on the list. Historical novels can be particularly helpful in teaching us about the history that we weren’t taught in school. In this case, we learned about what is sometimes called “Black Wall Street” — the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma that had a flourishing black community in the early 1900s, complete [...]

    19. Superb story of two women caught in turbulent times in a vicious society. The context is Oklahoma during the early twentieth century oil boom. Money has made men drunk with greed. Racism has made an entire region--if not nation--callous and inhumane. Askew's characters are very real and transforming. Her writing is compelling, elegant, and gripping. As a bonus, she's done her homework. This story is securely lodged in unspoken Oklahoma history. By the time the novel ends, readers will have had a [...]

    20. Although it's a novel, the book underlined for me that Oklahoma history is American history, with all the violence and striving for more that implies. The narrative centers around two women, one white, one black, one the wife of an ambitious oil wildcatter, one a maid. The terrible connections that bind them are background for the rising tensions that lead up to the explosive violence that broke out one day in 1921 when a black man was accused of attacking a white woman in an elevator and white [...]

    21. Rilla Askew is a wonderful and powerful writer, even when building a story around ugly pieces of our history. In this book, she tells of early 20th century Oklahoma, with the boom of the oil industry, and the racial tensions that culminate in the race riots of Tulsa, in 1921. The central figures in this story are Althea Whiteside, seemingly well-to-do wife of an oil speculator, and Graceful, her black maid. Although this book takes place in Oklahoma, the incidents recounted are reminiscent of ou [...]

    22. I didn't know much about the Tulsa race riot which is sad since I'm a native Tulsan. While this book is fiction, I suspect it's pretty true to life. I like the way the author wrote this novel in the various voices of the participants in this drama. I found the story disturbing in the cruelty of the "white" people and the warpeed view they had of "black" people. I'm happy to say that we have progressed in our attitudes and actions. This book should be a must read and a basis for discussion in ear [...]

    23. I grew up just a few miles west of Tulsa. Amazingly throughout my K-12 education not one teacher spoke of this tragic event. In fact, I was totally unaware until about 4 years ago when I was doing some research on my home town of Sand Springs, OK. When I read about it, I asked an older relative who gave me a surprising bit of information. My maternal grandparents sheltered some of those fleeing the raid on Greenwood on their farm. For whatever reason, this bit of Tulsa history and family history [...]

    24. A story of black and white race issues set in the time leading up to the Tulsa Oklahoma race riot. Shows insight into how ingrained thinking about race was for both whites and blacks. Gives a good glimpse of what life was like in a southern oil state in the early 1920's. A quick read through about the Tulsa race riots in would be helpful before beginning the book. enpedia/wiki/Tulsa_ra

    25. The book takes a while to build and get to the heart of the story but it ends very strong, I found myself racing to finish. I had never heard of the Tulsa race riots before and the story is heavy yet captivating. I tend to overlook books that are overwrought when the story captures my attention. Parts of the story could easily have been cut out as they were boring and didn't add anything to the overall narrative.

    26. I was given the pleasure of having Mrs. Askew speak to my college class at OU and got to meet her in person. Given the ability to ask questions and present theories on her work was amazing- the intentionality and research that went into this novel is breathtaking. Truly a novel that speaks volumes to the event on which it was based, Fire In Beulah allows the reader to see multiple perspectives on race/ race relations during the Tulsa Race Riots.

    27. I enjoy reading history through fiction as this genre allows heart and soul to enter the story. This book is no exception. This story brings to light the fierce racial ignorance and hatred around 1920. The separate yet entwined lives of the whites and blacks, along with the love and hate is poignant throughout the book. I had hoped to see the family connection or not as the white employer and the black maid shared the same family name.

    28. Interesting fictional book set at the time of the Tulsa race riots in 1921. The lives of an oilman, his genteelly mentally ill wife, and their maid are explored. The relationships lend insight to the gulf of understanding between people and races that led to the riots. Lots of local interest as the author's research appears impeccable.

    29. Difficult to read because of the sad nature of the story - man's inhumanity to man during the Tulsa Race Riot. If you're from Oklahoma or especially the Tulsa area you should read it. It is part of the history of the area, and it has a deep spiritual message hidden within the story.

    30. This book contains so really interesting history about the Tulsa Race Riots, but it is a tiring read. Sometime I felt like things were unecessarily overly descriptive. The topic is something that needs to be talked about because it has been hidden for too long.

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