Pudd’nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, Novels, Passing, United States on 2016-02-03 03:24Z by Steven

Pudd’nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins

Broadview Press
2016-02-15 (Originally Published in 1894)
275 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781554812660

Mark Twain

Edited by:

Hsuan L. Hsu, Associate Professor of English
University of California, Davis

The two narratives published together in The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson and the Comedy of Those Extraordinary Twins are overflowing with spectacular events. Twain shows us conjoined twins, babies exchanged in the cradle, acts of cross-dressing and racial masquerade, duels, a lynching, and a murder mystery. Pudd’head Wilson tells the story of babies, one of mixed race and the other white, exchanged in their cradles, while Those Extraordinary Twins is a farcical tale of conjoined twins. Although the stories were long viewed as flawed narratives, their very incongruities offer a fascinating portrait of key issues—race, disability, and immigration—facing the United States in the final decades of the nineteenth century.

Hsuan Hsu’s introduction traces the history of literary critics’ response to these works, from the confusion of Twain’s contemporaries to the keen interest of current scholars. Extensive historical appendices provide contemporary materials on race discourse, legal contexts, and the composition and initial reception of the texts.

Tags: , , ,

The Gilded Years, A Novel

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, Novels, Passing on 2016-01-08 03:21Z by Steven

The Gilded Years, A Novel

Washington Square Press (an imprint of Simon & Schuster)
June 2016
384 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781501110450
eBook ISBN: 9781501110467

Karin Tanabe
Washington, D.C.

Passing meets The House of Mirth in this “utterly captivating” (Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of The Kitchen House) historical novel based on the true story of Anita Hemmings, the first black student to attend Vassar, who successfully passed as white—until she let herself grow too attached to the wrong person.

Since childhood, Anita Hemmings has longed to attend the country’s most exclusive school for women, Vassar College. Now, a bright, beautiful senior in the class of 1897, she is hiding a secret that would have banned her from admission: Anita is the only African-American student ever to attend Vassar. With her olive complexion and dark hair, this daughter of a janitor and descendant of slaves has successfully passed as white, but now finds herself rooming with Louise “Lottie” Taylor, the scion of one of New York’s most prominent families.

Though Anita has kept herself at a distance from her classmates, Lottie’s sphere of influence is inescapable, her energy irresistible, and the two become fast friends. Pulled into her elite world, Anita learns what it’s like to be treated as a wealthy, educated white woman—the person everyone believes her to be—and even finds herself in a heady romance with a moneyed Harvard student. It’s only when Lottie becomes infatuated with Anita’s brother, Frederick, whose skin is almost as light as his sister’s, that the situation becomes particularly perilous. And as Anita’s college graduation looms, those closest to her will be the ones to dangerously threaten her secret.

Set against the vibrant backdrop of the Gilded Age, an era when old money traditions collided with modern ideas, Tanabe has written an unputdownable and emotionally compelling story of hope, sacrifice, and betrayal—and a gripping account of how one woman dared to risk everything for the chance at a better life.

Tags: , , , , ,

The Alienist and Other Stories of Nineteenth-Century Brazil

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Novels on 2015-12-22 04:23Z by Steven

The Alienist and Other Stories of Nineteenth-Century Brazil

Hackett Publishing Company
March 2013
ca. 152 pages
Cloth ISBN: 1-60384-853-3; 978-1-60384-853-4
Paper ISBN: 1-60384-852-5; 978-1-60384-852-7
Examination ISBN: 1-60384-852-5; 978-1-60384-852-7

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1839-1908)

Edited by:

John Charles Chasteen, Patterson Distinguished Term Professor of History
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Accompanied by a thorough introduction to “Brazil’s Machado, Machado’s Brazil”, these vibrant new translations of eight of Machado de Assis’s best-known short stories bring nineteenth-century Brazilian society and culture to life for modern readers.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Introduction.
  • 1. To Be Twenty Years Old!
  • 2. The Education of a Poser.
  • 3. The Looking Glass.
  • 4. Chapter on Hats.
  • 5. A Singular Occurrence.
  • 6. Terpsichore.
  • 7. Father Against Mother.
  • 8. The Alienist.
Tags: , , , ,

Loving Day: A Novel

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels on 2015-12-22 04:06Z by Steven

Loving Day: A Novel

Spiegel & Grau
2015-05-26
304 Pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardcover ISBN: 9780812993455
Ebook ISBN: 9780679645528

Mat Johnson

“In the ghetto there is a mansion, and it is my father’s house.”

Warren Duffy has returned to America for all the worst reasons: His marriage to a beautiful Welsh woman has come apart; his comics shop in Cardiff has failed; and his Irish American father has died, bequeathing to Warren his last possession, a roofless, half-renovated mansion in the heart of black Philadelphia. On his first night in his new home, Warren spies two figures outside in the grass. When he screws up the nerve to confront them, they disappear. The next day he encounters ghosts of a different kind: In the face of a teenage girl he meets at a comics convention he sees the mingled features of his white father and his black mother, both now dead. The girl, Tal, is his daughter, and she’s been raised to think she’s white.

Spinning from these revelations, Warren sets off to remake his life with a reluctant daughter he’s never known, in a haunted house with a history he knows too well. In their search for a new life, he and Tal struggle with ghosts, fall in with a utopian mixed-race cult, and ignite a riot on Loving Day, the unsung holiday for interracial lovers.

A frequently hilarious, surprisingly moving story about blacks and whites, fathers and daughters, the living and the dead, Loving Day celebrates the wonders of opposites bound in love.

Tags: ,

A Romance of the Republic

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Slavery, United States on 2015-12-10 03:19Z by Steven

A Romance of the Republic

University Press of Kentucky
2014-07-11 (Originally published in 1867)
464 pages
6 x 9
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8131-0928-2
Web PDF ISBN: 978-0-8131-4910-3

Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880)

Edited by:

Dana D. Nelson, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

A Romance of the Republic, published in 1867, was Lydia Maria Child’s fourth novel and the capstone of her remarkable literary career. Written shortly after the Civil War, it offered a progressive alternative to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Writer, magazine publisher and outspoken abolitionist, Child defied the norms of gender and class decorum in this novel by promoting interracial marriage as a way blacks and whites could come to view each other with sympathy and understanding. In constructing the tale of fair-skinned Rosa and Flora Royal—daughters of a slaveowner whose mother was also the daughter of a slaveowner—Child consciously attempted to counter two popular claims: that racial intermarriage was “unnatural” and that slavery was a benevolent institution. But Child’s target was not merely racism. Her characters are forced both to reconsider their attitudes toward “white” and “black” and to question the very foundation of the patriarchal society in which they live.

Tags: , , ,

Incognegro, A Graphic Mystery

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States on 2015-11-28 19:06Z by Steven

Incognegro, A Graphic Mystery

Vertigo
2008
136 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-140121097

Mat Johnson, Author

Warren Pleece, Artist

Mat Johnson, winner of the prestigious Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction, constructs a fearless graphic novel that is both a page-turning mystery and a disturbing exploration of race and self-image in America, masterfully illustrated with rich period detail by Warren Pleece (The Invisibles, Hellblazer). In the early 20th century, when lynchings were commonplace throughout the American South, a few courageous reporters from the North risked their lives to expose these atrocities. They were African-American men who, due to their light skin color, could pass for white. They called this dangerous assignment going “incognegro.” Zane Pinchback, a reporter for the New York-based New Holland Herald, is sent to investigate the arrest of his own brother, charged with the brutal murder of a white woman in Mississippi. With a lynch mob already swarming, Zane must stay “incognegro” long enough to uncover the truth behind the murder in order to save his brother — and himself.

Tags: , ,

The Quadroon; or, A Lover’s Adventures In Louisiana

Posted in Books, Louisiana, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, Slavery, United States on 2015-11-28 02:23Z by Steven

The Quadroon; or, A Lover’s Adventures In Louisiana

Robert M. DeWitt
1856
430 pages

Captain Mayne Reid (1818-1883)

Read the entire book here.

Tags: , ,

The Old Neighborhood, A Novel

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2015-11-27 21:46Z by Steven

The Old Neighborhood, A Novel

Curbside Splendor Publishing
April 2014
502 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1940430003

Bill Hillmann

Bill Hillmann’s debut novel, The Old Neighborhood, is the story of teenager Joe Walsh, the youngest in a large, mixed-race family living in Chicago. After Joe witnesses his older brother commit a gangland murder, his friends and family drag him down into a pit of violence that reaches a bloody impasse when his elder sister begins dating a rival gang member. The Old Neighborhood is both a brutal tale of growing up tough in a mean city, and a beautiful harkening to the heartbreak of youth.

Tags: , , ,

Whasian

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels on 2015-11-12 20:25Z by Steven

Whasian

Harken Media
2015-11-02
340 pages
6 in x 9 in
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-9887757-6-3
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9887757-5-6
E-Book ISBN: 978-0-9887757-4-9

Joy Huang Stoffers

Young adult literary fiction for teens struggling with racial and cultural identity and racism.

The thing about secrets is they force you to choose—especially the ones that hurt so much you keep them from your best friend. Ava Ling Magee hopes college will free her from the past: high school, parents, everything. Freedom from her Asian mother’s control, her Caucasian father’s neglect, and the world’s confusion, however, requires more than a dorm room. Sure, she makes new friends, separates herself from the parental units, and parties. Yet, Ava’s secrets linger, binding her to the past and cleaving her in two. She must choose between the darkness she knows and unknown perils. Sometimes, when life hurts the most, we discover our freedom lay within all along.

Tags: , , ,

The Pain Tree

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Novels on 2015-10-17 01:34Z by Steven

The Pain Tree

Cormorant Books
June 2015
320 pages
5.5″ x 8.5″
Paperback ISBN 9781770864344

Olive Senior

Olive Senior’s new collection of stories, The Pain Tree, is wide-ranging in scope, time period, theme, locale, and voice. There is — along with her characteristic “gossipy voice” — reverence, wit and wisdom, satire, humour, and even farce. The stories range over at most a hundred years, from around the time of the second world war to the present. Like her earlier stories, Jamaica is the setting but the range of characters presented are universally recognisable as people in crisis or on the cusp of transformation.

While most of the stories operate within a realist mode, Senior also exploits traditional motifs. Collected here are revenge stories (“The Goodness of my Heart”), a bargain with the Devil (“Boxed-in”), a Cinderella story (“The Country Cousin”), a magical realist interpretation of African spiritual beliefs (“Flying”) and a narrator’s belated acceptance of the healing power of traditional beliefs (“The Pain Tree”). “Coal” is a realist story set in the war years and depression that followed as folks try to find a new place in the world. Senior’s trademark children awakening to self-awareness and to the hypocrisy of adults are here too, from the heartbreaking “Moonlight” and “Silent” to the girls in “Lollipop” and “A Father Like That” who learn to confront loneliness and vulnerability with attitude.

Tags: , ,