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Comedy: American Style

American Style

Edited by Jessie Redmon Fauset and Cherene Sherrard-Johnson

Publication Year: 2010

Comedy: American Style, Jessie Redmon Fauset's fourth and final novel, recounts the tragic tale of a family's destructionùthe story of a mother who denies her clan its heritage. Originally published in 1933, this intense narrative stands the test of time and continues to raise compelling, disturbing, and still contemporary themes of color prejudice and racial self-hatred. Cherene Sherrard-Johnson's introduction places this classic in both the new modernist and transatlantic contexts and will be embraced by those interested in early twentieth-century women writers, novels about passing, the Harlem Renaissance, the black/white divide, and diaspora studies.

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Series: Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the Americas


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p. ix


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pp. xi-xiii

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pp. xv-xl

Jessie Fauset’s role as the most influential literary editor of the Harlem Renaissance has long overshadowed serious consideration of her fiction. Once categorized as the “midwife” who introduced the world to the poet Langston Hughes, Fauset was frequently relegated to the so-called rear guard of the New Negro movement.1 Fortunately, black feminist scholars began to recast the writing of female authors that had been excluded from or marginalized within...

A Note on the Text

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p. xli

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Comedy: American Style

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pp. 1-235

ONCE, before Olivia had attained to that self-absorption and single-mindedness which were to stamp her later life, she had remarked a text in Sunday School which had given her considerable pause. It read: “Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth.”1 She had gazed at it with unimaginative and wholly preoccupied concentration, struck for the moment with the solemnity and awfulness inhering in the words. After a few moments’ reflection she came to the...

Selected Essays

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Yarrow Revisited

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pp. 239-243

THIS is not the Paris of my student days nor even the Paris of the second Pan-African Congress held three years ago. I seem to glimpse in the memories of those visits an enchanted city of gay streets, blue skies, of romantically historic monuments, a playground, a court of justice of the world. Every one was possessed of a fine courtesy; attendants were kind and generous, though even then a little too conscious, for an American...

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pp. 244-251

ON those rare mornings when I have a moment to spare I go into the little fruit shop on Seventh Avenue and buy a hard, sweet, red apple and a small rusty orange. The foreign proprietor knows me now and greets me with as much eagerness as though I were about to buy out all his stock. There are bunches of ruddy grapes hanging up on a piece of twine; the...

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This Way to the Flea Market

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pp. 252-256

MY friend said: “I think you ought to visit the Flea Market.” I looked at her with amazement and some distaste for I was still smarting under the memory of my encounter with one of the pests during my first few days in Paris. Presently she explained. Just outside of one of the gates of Paris—for Paris being a fortified city has several gates—there is held every Sunday from nine until four...

Selected Poems


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p. 259


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p. 260


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p. 261

La Vie C’est La Vie

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p. 262

Explanatory Notes

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pp. 263-270

E-ISBN-13: 9780813548326
E-ISBN-10: 0813548322
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813546315

Page Count: 316
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the Americas
Series Editor Byline: Amritjit Singh, Carla L. Peterson, C. Lok Chua See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 593315765
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Comedy: American Style

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • African American families -- Fiction.
  • African American women -- Fiction.
  • African Americans -- Race identity -- Fiction.
  • Self-hate (Psychology) -- Fiction.
  • Domestic fiction.
  • Passing (Identity) -- Fiction.
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