Plum Bun: A Novel without a Moral

Overview

Written in 1929 at the height of the Harlem Renaissance by one of the movement's most important and prolific authors, Plum Bun is the story of Angela Murray, a young black girl who discovers she can pass for white. After the death of her parents, Angela moves to New York to escape the racism she believes is her only obstacle to opportunity. What she soon discovers is that being a woman has its own burdens that don't fade with the color of one's skin, and that love and marriage ...
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Overview

Written in 1929 at the height of the Harlem Renaissance by one of the movement's most important and prolific authors, Plum Bun is the story of Angela Murray, a young black girl who discovers she can pass for white. After the death of her parents, Angela moves to New York to escape the racism she believes is her only obstacle to opportunity. What she soon discovers is that being a woman has its own burdens that don't fade with the color of one's skin, and that love and marriage might not offer her salvation.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
An engrossing novel of women's lives and experiences. . . . Jessie Redmon Fauset uses Angela's development as the springboard to explore larger issues that have become regarded as central to black women's fiction: the experience of passing, the exploitation of women as sexual objects and thus a questioning of heterosexual relationships, the assertion of racial pride, and the primacy of female bonding. —Mary Katherine Wainwright, Belles Lettres

"A fascinating glimpse of a now-vanished Harlem culture." —Rosalind Warren, New Directions for Women

"A reminder of how entertaining good writing can be." —Ernest R. Mercer, East St. Louis Monitor

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807009192
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 12/28/1999
  • Series: Black Women Writers Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 408
  • Sales rank: 611,390
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jessie Redmon Fauset (1882-1961) was literary editor of Crisis from 1919 to 1926. She is the author of four novels, including The Chinaberry Tree.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    Complex and Compelling

    Plum Bun by Jessie Redmon Fauset is a fairy-tale-like story told in the context of the complex realities of early to mid 20th century America. Set in Philadelphia and New York City, this novel is crafted with such subtlety that the casual reader may miss the depth of knowledge and life that brims below the daintily espoused language. Although she approaches despotism at some points, the author, in the voice of the omniscient narrator, builds trust with adeptly evinced setting and insight and, at times, just as deftly misleads the reader. Minor roles are made vital when Fauset presents them with all their flaws and ornament. The word "propinquity," employed several (or one too many) times, serves as a metaphor for the protagonist and for the novel: while close in proximity and forthright in words and deeds, both are obscured as their deeper selves remain veiled to the inattentive eye. This coming of age novel takes the structure of a nursery rhyme and fills it with the stuff of life-hope, disappointment, irony, wisdom-and reminds us that each moment of the journey is a worthwhile one.
    To Market, To Market,
    To Buy a Plum Bun;
    Home again, Home again,
    Market is done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    This novel was an amazing, slow, read. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the story unfold in a way that I thought I knew what was going on. I could tell that Angela was distancing herself, but didn't know of the experiences she'd encounter as a result of what she thought she was orchestrating. Ms. Fauset crafted a wonderful tale.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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