The House Behind the Cedars

Front Cover
Modern Library, 2003 - Fiction - 223 pages
18 Reviews
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.”

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - N.T.Embe - LibraryThing

I must say, this book turned out to be quite more of an adventure than I expected it to be! It started out one way completely, and then before you knew it, our main character had completely dropped ... Read full review

Review: The House Behind the Cedars

User Review  - Vickie Dee - Goodreads

I enjoyed reading this book about "passing for white" in postbellum AMerican South. A few of the circumstances that are supposed to be 'coincidences' seem a bit contrived to me, but the way Chestnutt ... Read full review

About the author (2003)

Judith Jackson Fossett, associate professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, is the author of Illuminated Darkness: Slavery and Its Shadows in Nineteenth-Century America and the editor of Race Consciousness: African-American Studies for the New Century.

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