Available as Paperback



Jane Lazarre’s compelling novel explores America’s mixed racial history through the lives of four families whose fates are intertwined across several generations from slavery to the present. Unflinching in its description of the horrors of slavery and racism as well as the taboos on all sides of the racial divide,the novel moves us in the present, and prepares us for the future.

  • Pages: 308
  • Published: November 15, 2011


“A powerful and poetic narrative that seems to float on a shifting surface of emotion. Memory seems buried, or drowned. Yet it breaks through. The novel strengthened my hope that art can stiffen our spines and shape up our thinking and feeling around race. Desire and love are radical and dangerous, and the ongoing effort to write seems like a rescue mission, a deep diving and life saving mission.”
Sekou Sundiata

“This book is simply wonderful. Lazarre has woven a rich tapestry in which the past insists on itself in the lives of several American families. Beautifully orchestrated, her white characters must confront racism because of their love for black husbands, children, sisters, friends and teachers. Their journey from slavery to the present is unforgettably rendered. A fierce and honest novel that once again proves the searing truth of fiction.”
Beverly Gologorsky

“Persimmon Tree, an on-line magazine for older women, published quarterly in association with Mills College, is honored to include in its premier issue an excerpt from Jane Lazarre’s unpublished novel, Inheritance. This beautifully written story reveals the subtleties of emotion that exist between white and Black people who love each other but have to navigate the incomprehensibility and ugliness of racial discrimination. A gripping story, it shows how the themes of race play out in the most personal ways.”
Nan Gefen, Publisher, Persimmon Tree