The Beach Umbrella
Winner of the 1970 Iowa Short Fiction Award
The Chicago settings for the stories in The Beach Umbrella range from ghetto existence to the élite monde of the Hyde Park-Kenwood black community. Writer David Ray says Colter's work “like that of Sherwood Anderson, or of Nelson Algren, will change the way people think about Chicago.” Colter chooses black men and women at various social levels to illustrate the dreams, foibles, and fears of every man. His studies of everyday crises and interpersonal relationships contain an insight about life itself, one that comes from years of what Lucien Stryk has called “compassionate observation.” The Beach Umbrella was selected by novelists Vance Bourjaily and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. to receive the first Iowa School of Letters Award for Short Fiction.