Harlem Redux: A Novel

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Simon & Schuster, May 28, 2002 - Fiction - 320 pages
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Four years after dropping out of Harlem society, David McKay, a handsome young lawyer from a prominent Strivers' Row family, returns home, devastated by the news of his sister Lilian's suicide. What caused his once stable, gentle sister to take her own life? Why did she marry Jameson Sweet, giving a man she barely knew a claim to the family home? What caused her flamboyant twin, Gem, to return to Harlem from Paris, forge new bonds, and suddenly depart again? Most important, why did Lilian feel compelled to keep David in the dark about it all?

Burdened by a secret of his own, David dares to stay in Harlem just long enough to stave off the threat to his family home and answer questions about Lilian's death. Entering her world, he rediscovers what he left behind -- a place of suffocating class strictures, seductive patrons, and aristocratic civil rights leaders. His inquiry takes him from the wealthy salons of Renaissance Harlem to the crowded tenements of its poor. He uncovers old loves and festering hatreds. But the deeper he probes, the closer he comes to unleashing forces that threaten to reveal his own crippling secret -- a secret that could destroy him or redeem him.

This gripping novel, at once taut and lyrical, evokes the mystique of Harlem's most fascinating era. Absorbing and powerful, "Harlem Redux" combines incisive comment on race and class with a tragic tale of unrequited love.

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About the author (2002)

Persia Walker was raised in Harlem. She has been a journalist with Radio Free Europe and the Associated Press. She lives in Munich with her children, Tyler and Jordan.

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