If you’ve read Mary Ward Brown’s fiction you know these deceptively bold contrasts conceal layers of subtlety. In her stories, stereotype, negative and positive, reveal their other sides, lighter, and darker, and hasty, judgmental attitudes toward people and places do not last. Change and continuity, past and present, black race and white, massive abstractions and concrete particulars, all are reflected in a real, whole word, by characters from a complete social spectrum. Like most of the characters in her stories, Mary Ward Brown started life in a stable world, and then saw it become a social, economic, and political roller coaster. Although, Tongues of Flame was instantly popular.