Charles Chesnutt wrote this novel at the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920s. Never before published, the novel disputes prevailing attitudes of the time on racial character and identity. In a surprising plot reversal, Chesnutt deals with the subject of miscegenation, and his hero Paul Marchand is an admirable male with inner strength.
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Charles Chestnutt's 1921 novel begins with a startling premise: expatriate Paul Marchand, a "Free Man of Color," returns to New Orleans only to discover that he is now officially white. Thanks to a will, he has become the head of a rich, powerful--and racist-- Creole family. To claim his birthright, however, he must renounce his mixed-race wife and children, as well as all the principles of his upbringing. Novelist Chestnutt was the most popular and critically acclaimed African-American writer of his day. By the time he wrote Paul Marchand, F.M.C., however, he had fallen from favor, and publishers universally rejected the novel. Its publication marks a recent resurgence of interest in his writing, and it's clear to see why; if Chestnutt's purple prose and melodramatic plot twists sometimes seem dated, his ideas do not. With its dramatic schism between nature and nurture, Marchand's dilemma poses some peculiarly modern questions about the meaning of race. Like many current theorists, Chestnutt saw race as a social construct rather than as an irreversible biological fact, perhaps because of his own background. He was himself light-skinned enough to pass for white, and knowing that he decided not to do so gives this fascinating novel added resonance.From the Inside Flap:
Never before published, a 1920s novel that disputes prevailing attitudes on racial character and identity
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Book Description Univ Pr of Mississippi, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1578060559
Book Description Univ Press of Mississippi, 1998, 1998. Book Condition: new. Dust Jacket Condition: new. hbk 128pp a brand new copy still in publisher's original shrinkwrap excellent as new. Bookseller Inventory # AAS319
Book Description University Press of Mississipp, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111578060559
Book Description Univ Pr of Mississippi. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1578060559 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1621514