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Conjure Tales and Stories of the Color Line
     

Conjure Tales and Stories of the Color Line

by Charles W. Chesnutt, William L. Andrews (Introduction)
 

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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

Overview

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.

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.

Editorial Reviews

Sacred Life
Charles W. Chestnutt was the most widely read and influential African American fiction writer of his time and the first ever brought to press by a major publishing house. The Conjure Woman introduced the verbal and philosophical richness of African American folk culture to a white readership largely ignorant of true southern black life. Even today, this collection is thought to be among the best representations of life on a southern plantation to be found in American literature.

The Conjure Woman is a collection of "conjuring tales" written in rich dialect. Each of the stories masterfully portrays both the inhumanity of plantation life and the cunning wisdom used by many to survive post-Civil War neoslavery. The stories are more accurate than those written by contemporary writers like Joel Chandler Harris, whose Uncle Remus stories fondly portray life on the plantation. Chestnutt's stories more often reflect the true conditions of plantation life, if in slightly muted tones: forced separation of loved ones, the greed of the slave masters, and the ready violence to be found on the plantations.

Chestnutt's later—and more straightforward—explorations into biracialism, miscegenation, and racisim (The Home Behind the Cedars, The Marrow of Tradition, and The Colonel's Dream) met with so tepid a commercial response that Chestnutt decided to return to his private legal practice in order to support his family. But The Conjure Woman has ensured his reputation as a groundbreaking writer of fiction that truthfully tells the stories of slave life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780141185026
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/28/2000
Series:
Penguin Classics Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
340,430
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

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.

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