The Marrow Of Tradition
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Penguin Classics / 1993 / Paperback
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The Marrow Of Tradition

Penguin Classics / 1993 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW86860


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Product Description

One of the most significant historical novels in American literature, this book is based on the Wilmington, North Carolina Massacre of 1898. Called a "race riot" by the inflammatory Southern press and engineered by white Democrats who had seen their political control slip into the hands of Republicans, many of whom were black, it was in fact a coup that restored power to the Democrats by subverting the principles of free democratic election. Some of Charles Chesnutt's relatives lived through the violence, and their accounts inspired this powerful and passionate novel.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 1993
Dimensions: 8.12 X 5.12 (inches)
ISBN: 0140186867
ISBN-13: 9780140186864
Series: Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics

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Publisher's Description

This novel is based on a historically accurate account of the Wilmington, North Carolina, "race riot" of 1898, and is a passionate portrait of the betrayal of black culture in America, by an acclaimed African-American writer. 

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.

Author Bio

Charles W. Chestnutt (1858–1932) was born in Cleveland, Ohio, where his family had moved from Fayettefille, North Carolina, to seek better economic opportunities. Shortly after the Civil War, they returned to Fayetteville, where Chesnutt spent most of his childhood and young adulthood. He taught in local public schools, eventually returning to Cleveland and being admitted to the bar. He established a legal stenography business yet found himself strongly attracted to writing fiction. He published two collections of short stories, The Conjure Woman and The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line (1890) and three widely reviewed novels, The House Behind the Cedars (1900), The Marrow of Tradition (1901), and The Colonel's Dream (1905), while devoting essays and speeches to agitation for civil rights for African Americans, especially in the South. Unable to support his family as a full-time writer, he resumed his business career but maintained until his death a respected role in African American letters.

Eric J. Sundquist is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at the Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches courses about American literature and culture. His books include King’s Dream: The Legacy of Martin Luther King’s "I Have a Dream" Speech and Strangers in the Land: Blacks, Jews, Post-Holocaust America. Professor Sundquist has also edited essay collections on Mark Twain, Ralph Ellison, and W. E. B. Du Bois.

Editorial Reviews

"Chesnutt was tremendously explicit in representing the violence and his own anger. Today it reads as one of the more enduring novels of the era." —Richard Yarborough, UCLA

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