The Portable Charles W. Chesnutt

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Penguin, May 27, 2008 - Literary Collections - 544 pages
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A collection from one of our most influential African American writers

An icon of nineteenth-century American fiction, Charles W. Chesnutt, an incisive storyteller of the aftermath of slavery in the South, is widely credited with almost single-handedly inaugurating the African American short story tradition and was the first African American novelist to achieve national critical acclaim. This major addition to Penguin Classics features an ideal sampling of his work: twelve short stories (including conjure tales and protest fiction), three essays, and the novel The Marrow of Tradition. Published here for the 150th anniversary of Chesnutt's birth, The Portable Charles W. Chesnutt will bring to a new audience the genius of a man whose legacy underlies key trends in modern black fiction.

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.


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Contents

General Introduction
vii
Introduction
xvii
Suggestions for Further Reading
xlv
A Note on the Texts
xlix
THE GOOPHERED GRAPEVINE
5
PO SANDY
19
MARS JEEMSS NIGHTMARE
30
SIS BECKYS PICKANINNY
46
THE PASSING OF GRANDISON
109
UNCLE WELLINGTONS WIVES
128
THE WEB OF CIRCUMSTANCE
163
DAVES NECKLISS
181
BAXTERS PROCRUSTES
194
THE MARROW OF TRADITION
209
WHAT IS A WHITE MAN?
451
THE DISFRANCHISEMENT OF THE NEGRO
460

THE WIFE OF HIS YOUTH
58
THE SHERIFFS CHILDREN
71
A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE
89
POSTBELLUMPREHARLEM
481
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About the author (2008)

William L. Andrews is E. Maynard Adams Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of To Tell a Free Story and editor or coeditor of more than thirty books on African American literature.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Africana Studies at Cornell University, and also tenured at Yale, Duke, and Harvard, where he was appointed W.E.B. DuBois professor of humanities in 1991. Professor Gates is the author of Figures in Black: Words, Signs, and the Racial Self, Wonders of the African World, The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man, Loose Cannons: Notes on the Culture Wars, and Colored People: A Memoir. With Cornel West, he co-wrote The African American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped Our Country and The Future of the Race. He is also the editor of the critically-acclaimed edition of Our Nig, an annotated reprint of Harriet E. Wilson’s 1859 novel, The Slave’s Narrative (with the late Charles T. Davis), Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience, Six Women’s Slave Narratives, and In the House of Oshugbo: Critical Essays on Wole Soyinka. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Prize.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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