The Hairstons on Yardley’s last list

Henry Wiencek's The Hairstons makes Jonathan Yardley's list of 30 faves. Henry Wiencek’s The Hairstons makes Jonathan Yardley’s list of 30 faves.

Pulitzer Prize-winning book reviewer Jonathan Yardley bowed out this week after 33 years as a critic with The Washington Post. On his list of 30 favorite books, he included local author Henry Wiencek’s The Hairstons. Published in 2000, the nonfiction account of a Virginia family’s white and black sides “is a milestone in the history of race in America,” wrote Yardley. “It is lucidly written, unfailingly sympathetic and richly informative.”

Yardley also wrote a rave review of Wiencek’s Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves, and chose it as a best book of 2012. “I was bowled over by his selection of Hairstons as one of the finest books he had ever read—to me that’s the equivalent of winning a major prize,” wrote Wiencek in an e-mail. “He is notoriously tough-minded.”

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