Collected stories of Charles W. Chesnutt

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Penguin Group, 1992 - Fiction - 280 pages
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Unlike the popular "Uncle Remus" stories of Joel Chandler Harris, Charles W. Chesnutt's tales probe psychological depths in black people unheard of before in Southern regional writing. They also expose the anguish of mixed-race men and women and the consequences of racial hatred, mob violence, and moral compromise.This important collection contains all the stories in his two published volumes, The Conjure Woman and The Wife of His Youth, along with two uncollected works: the tragic "Dave's Neckliss" and "Baxter's Procustes", Chesnutt's parting shot at prejudice.

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Contents

THE GOOPHERED GRAPEVINE I
1
yPO SANDY
25
THE WIFE OF HIS YOUTH
102
Copyright

7 other sections not shown

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About the author (1992)

An African American born in Ohio, Charles Waddell Chesnutt grew up in North Carolina. At age 25, he returned to Cleveland to raise his family and practice legal stenography. Resisting the temptation to pass as a white man, he made the issue of race and the inequality of African Americans in the Reconstruction South the primary subject of his fiction, essays, and speeches throughout his life. His first story, "The Goophered Grapevine" (1887), was published in the Atlantic Monthly. His major story collections, The Conjure Woman (1899) and The Wife of his Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line (1899), are local-color stories rich in dialect. Uncle Julius, the former slave storyteller, is realistically presented as he tells his Northern white employer tales that show slaves using wit and intelligence to get the best of their masters. Chesnutt's later novels, The House Behind the Cedars (1900) and The Marrow of Tradition (1901), stories of passing and interracial relationships, speak more boldly and bitterly against the racial injustices of the South. They were not well received and, despite the more conciliatory tone of his last novel, The Colonel's Dream (1905), his popularity waned and he returned to his legal business. In 1928 the NAACP awarded Chesnutt the Spingarn Medal for distinguished service to the Negro race. Readers today are rediscovering the humor and subtle satire of Chesnutt's stories.

William L. Andrews William L. Andrews' first book, "The Literary Career of Charles W. Chesnutt," published in 1980, deals with a seminal figure in the development of African American and Southern American prose fiction. "To Tell a Free Story" is a history of African American autobiography up to 1865, the research for which got greatly interested Andrews. Since 1988 he has been the general editor of a book series, called "Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography," which is published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Since the mid-1980's he has done a considerable amount of editing of African American and southern literature and criticism. The climax of this work has been The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, published in 1997, "The Oxford Companion to African American Literature," also published in 1997, and "The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology," three big collaborative projects that Andrews has co-edited. He went on to be the series editor of "North American Slave Narratives, Beginnings to 1920," a complete digitized library of autobiographies and biographies of North American slaves and ex-slaves, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ameritech, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.