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Charles Chesnutt

  • About this Author
author spotlight

CHARLES WADDELL CHESNUTT (1858–1932) was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He drew on his experiences as a biracial American to address racial passing in his classic novel The House Behind the Cedars. Earning a living as a court stenographer and lawyer, Chesnutt supported a writing career that included the publication of numerous short stories and the completion of several other novels, some of which were considered too incendiary to be printed during his time. An active integrationist and civil rights leader, he was awarded a medal by the NAACP for distinguished literary contributions.

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The Colonel's Dream
A Novel
Written by Charles Chesnutt


Format: eBook, 336 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: December 18, 2007
Price: $8.99

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The House Behind the Cedars

Written by Charles Chesnutt
Introduction by Judith Jackson Fossett


Format: eBook, 256 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: December 18, 2007
Price: $11.99

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Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
The House Behind the Cedars

Written by Charles Chesnutt
Introduction by Judith Jackson Fossett


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: December 9, 2003
Price: $12.95

One of the most significant novels of racial boundaries in American literature, The House Behind the Cedars tells of John and Lena Walden, mulatto siblings who pass for white in the postbellum American South. The drama that unfolds as they travel between black and white worlds constitutes a riveting portrait of... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Three Classic African-American Novels
Clotel, Iola Leary, The Marrow of Tradition
Written by William W. Brown, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and Charles Chesnutt
Edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.


Format: Trade Paperback, 768 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: August 11, 1990
Price: $21.00

Originally published between 1853 and 1901, these three novels represent the beginnings of the black literary tradition in the United States. They have now been collected in one volume for the first time, edited and with and introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Clotel, or The President's Daughter by William Wells Brown... Read more >
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