An Essay on ‘The Stone Face’ in The NY Times July 30, 2021
Smith’s fiction belies a lifelong skepticism. His books, now mostly out of print, are sometimes referred to as protest novels, and while they tackle social issues, they’re far from prescriptive; none ever provides an easy answer. . . . The Stone Face represents the maturing of a voice determined to confound preconceived notions about patriotism, Blackness and sanctuary, and accordingly the story takes no prisoners, so to speak.
To read the rest of the essay, which covers autobiographical details from Smith's life and the historical and social background of the 1963 novel, click here.