A Cry of Angels

A Novel by Jeff Fields
Foreword by Terry Kay


"Heartwarming . . . We find ourselves wondering why delightful novels like this aren't written anymore, and grateful that this one has come along to fill the void."
—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

"An authentic cry of American innocence . . . The author seizes the reader with a southern gift for story-telling and never lets go."
—Time Magazine

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It is the mid-1950s in Quarrytown, Georgia. In the slum known as the Ape Yard, hope's last refuge is a boardinghouse where a handful of residents dream of a better life. Earl Whitaker, who is white, and Tio Grant, who is black, are both teenagers, both orphans, and best friends. In the same house live two of the most important adults in the boys' lives: Em Jojohn, the gigantic Lumbee Indian handyman, is notorious for his binges, his rat-catching prowess, and his mysterious departures from town. Jayell Crooms, a gifted but rebellious architect, is stuck in a loveless marriage to a conventional woman intent on climbing the social ladder.

Crooms's vision of a new Ape Yard, rebuilt by its own residents, unites the four-and puts them on a collision course with Doc Bobo, a smalltown Machiavelli who rules the community like a feudal lord. Jeff Fields's exuberantly defined characters and his firmly rooted sense of place have earned A Cry of Angels an intensely loyal following. Its republication, more than three decades since it first appeared, is cause for celebration.

Brown Thrasher Books

Page count: 392 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9

Read more about Jeff Fields's Elberton at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


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Jeff Fields was born in Georgia and attended high school in Elberton, which inspired the fictional setting for A Cry of Angels. He currently lives in Atlanta. After working for many years in television and radio, Fields now writes full-time.