Book: The Day of the Locust, by Nathanael West. "The Day of the Locust" is the celebrated 1939 novel about the Great Depression, set in Hollywood, California, its over-arching themes dealing with the alienation and desperation of a broad group of odd individuals who exist at the fringes of the Hollywood movie industry.
Set in the early 20th century and Great Depression-era, the book gives a glimpse of life for African Americans in the rural South. Mitchell was born and raised in Mississippi, which gives her an authentic voice for this story. The story contains themes of sacrifice for family and perseverance to realize a dream.