Authors & Events
Apr 01, 1993
| ISBN 9780140186857
Apr 01, 1993
| ISBN 9781101174425
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Apr 01, 1993 | ISBN 9780140186857
Apr 01, 1993 | ISBN 9781101174425
An early masterwork among American literary treatments of miscegenation, Chesnutt’s story is of two young African Americans who decide to pass for white in order to claim their share of the American dream.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The House Behind the Cedars, which many consider Charles Chesnutt’s ﬁnest novel, tells of John and Lena Walden, mulatto siblings who pass for white in the postbellum American South. The drama that unfolds as they travel between black and white worlds constitutes a riveting portrait of the shifting and intractable nature of race in American life. This edition revitalizes a much-neglected masterpiece by one of our most important African-American writers. As Werner Sollors writes, “William Dean Howells did not overstate his case when he compared Chesnutt’s works with those by Turgenev, Maupassant, and James . . . and [Chesnutt] has become one of the most important ‘crossover’ authors from the African-American tradition.”
Charles W. Chestnutt (1858–1932) was born in Cleveland, Ohio, where his family had moved from Fayettefille, North Carolina, to seek better economic opportunities. Shortly after the Civil War, they returned to Fayetteville, where Chesnutt spent most of his childhood and… More about Charles W. Chesnutt
“A pioneering work about racial passing.”—Werner Sollors, Harvard University
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