The Store

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First edition (Doubleday, Doran)

The Store is a 1932 novel by Thomas Sigismund Stribling. It won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1933. It is the second book of the Vaiden trilogy, comprising The Forge, The Store, and Unfinished Cathedral.[1] All three books in the trilogy have been kept in print since the mid-1980s by the University of Alabama Press.[2][3][4]


The first book in the trilogy, The Forge, opens at the beginning of the American Civil War and ends with the abolition of slavery. Continuing its exploration of the transformation of the American South from its traditional agrarian society to a new economic and social order, The Store follows the return from war of Miltiades Vaiden. The novel depicts how wealthy whites, yeomen farmer whites, and African American slaves attempt to adapt to life in the post-War South.

Plot summary[edit]

Colonel Miltiades Vaiden, a decorated Civil War Confederate officer, former overseer of Crowninshield plantation and head of local KKK chapter, personal and economic trials and tribulations during the Reconstruction period. The title, "The Store", is symbolic of Col. Milt's ethical and economic transition from post war poverty to economic independence, set against the "old plantation" culture. The novel describes in blunt language, the cultural stress the old plantation society and former slaves have in adjusting to the post war reconstruction.