Mandy Oxendine

Mandy Oxendine

by Charles W. Chesnutt, Charles Hackenberry
     
 

In a novel rejected by a major publisher in the late nineteenth century as too shocking for its time, Charles W. Chesnutt challenges the notion that race, class, education, and gender must define where one's "rightful" place in society should be. Both a romance and a mystery, Mandy Oxendine tells the compelling story of two fair-skinned, racially mixed lovers who…  See more details below

Overview

In a novel rejected by a major publisher in the late nineteenth century as too shocking for its time, Charles W. Chesnutt challenges the notion that race, class, education, and gender must define where one's "rightful" place in society should be. Both a romance and a mystery, Mandy Oxendine tells the compelling story of two fair-skinned, racially mixed lovers who choose to live on opposite sides of the color line; Tom Lowrey remains in the black community, and Mandy Oxendine chooses to pass for white. An alluring young woman, Mandy also is courted by an unscrupulous white landowner who is killed while sexually assaulting her. Critics have tended to characterize Chesnutt as being of the "Uncle Tom" school of African-American writers. Publication of Mandy Oxendine, set aside by the author and left untranscribed in an archive for years, may do much to revise that interpretation.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Left unpublished 100 years ago, Chesnutt's short novel of racial identity and murder has been resurrected by editor Hackenberry (English, Pennsylvania State Univ., Altoona). Mandy Oxendine is a light-skinned African American woman who has chosen to pass for white in order to attain a better life financially and socially. Pursued by a white landowner and the object of a traveling preacher's obsession, Mandy is discovered by her former lover, Lowrey, a light-skinned teacher who has chosen to live as a black man. The landowner's lust and greed soon lead to murder and an attempted lynching. While of historical interest in the study of 19th-century African American literature and of Chesnutt's later works (e.g., The Conjure Woman, 1899) the novel is underdeveloped, with characters that lack depth or passion and an ending that is too neatly resolved. Recommended for academic libraries and public libraries with strong African American collections.Ellen Flexman, Indianapolis-Marion Cty. P.L.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252063473
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
11/28/1997
Pages:
112
Product dimensions:
6.01(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.47(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >