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KLIATTPaul Laurence Dunbar is a name most of us remember from high school English class. His Negro dialect poetry made him famous in his day, while the more standard writing of his wife Alice Ruth Moore has been forgotten. Alexander looks at the literary work of these two people, but more specifically uses their courtship and marriage as representative of the African American middle-class at the turn of the 20th century. The mores and expectations of post-slavery America were reflected in Dunbar's desire for a light-skinned woman who could pass for white, and Moore's desire to raise her class by marrying a famous author. Their distant, then violent, courtship and their ill-fated marriage is a sad story in itself, but it also reveals the problems African Americans had adjusting from their slave past in a world full of prejudice, some external and much of it internal. KLIATT Codes: A—Recommended for advanced students and adults. 2001, Penguin, Plume, 242p. illus. notes. bibliog. index., Ages 17 to adult.