By Cherene Sherrard-Johnson, Jessie Fauset

Comedy: American type, Jessie Redmon Fauset's fourth and ultimate novel, recounts the tragic story of a family's destruction--the tale of a mom who denies her extended family its background. initially released in 1933, this extreme narrative stands the try of time and keeps to elevate compelling, hectic, and nonetheless modern issues of colour prejudice and racial self-hatred. a number of of trendy bestselling novelists echo material first visited in Fauset's commanding paintings, which overflows with wealthy, vibrant, and complicated characters who discover questions of colour, passing, and black identity.Cherene Sherrard-Johnson's advent areas this literary vintage in either the recent modernist and transatlantic contexts and may be embraced through these drawn to earlytwentieth-century girls writers, novels approximately passing, the Harlem Renaissance, the black/white divide, and diaspora experiences. chosen essays and poems penned by means of Fauset also are integrated, between them "Yarrow Revisited" and "Oriflamme," which support spotlight the whole canon of her notable contribution to literature and supply contextual historical past to the unconventional.

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Extra resources for Comedy: American Style (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the Americas ()

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Yet unlike Olivia and Teresa, Phebe, “the whitest white girl” (V, 8) in the novel, “like[s] colored people” and is “sticking with them” (V, 5). Despite her clear race loyalties, however, an interracial coalition conspires to destroy her hopes to marry Nicholas, a medical student. When Nicholas accompanies Phebe to a park—“We’ll go over and sit on George’s Hill a moment” from which they “can see the Fifty-second Street car coming up the Avenue”—he evinces nostalgia for a primal Philadelphia preserved in a “vast, serenely silver park,” xxx • introduction wondering whimsically “if they ever remember the woods and forests they used to be” (II, 4).

An unusual figure within the novel, Oliver is rejected not only for his color, but also for his overly feminized good looks, his sensitive, artistic nature, and his questionable sexuality. When Olivia returns to the United States after Oliver’s death, she accuses her husband of keeping her “cooped up in this ugly little street, in this Negro neighborhood” (V, 10). To escape such indignities, she returns again to France, only to be ostracized from her daughter’s home as well. Thus, the novel leaves her in Paris, on “la rue Roumain .

12. 13. 14. 15. movement toward a new progressive black culture. See Alain Locke, The New Negro: An Interpretation (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1925). See David Levering Lewis, When Harlem Was in Vogue (New York: Penguin, 1981); Nathan Huggins, Harlem Renaissance (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971); Robert Bone, The Negro Novel in America, rev. ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965); Amritjit Singh, The Novels of the Harlem Renaissance: Twelve Black Writers 1923–1933 (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976); Cheryl Wall, Women of the Harlem Renaissance (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995); Gloria Hull, Color, Sex and Poetry: Three Women Writers of the Harlem Renaissance (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987).

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