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One Drop

I picked up The House Behind the Cedars by Charles W. Chesnutt cold turkey at Dog Eared Books two Saturdays ago. Has Dog Eared become my lucky cold turkey joint? That’s where I found Stoner, a beloved read for the year so far. First published in 1900, what meager reviews found on Amazon criticize it’s being contrived and cliched. Wait a minute: the book was published in 1900 when blacks were not allowed to be out on the streets after the curfew bell was pealed out at 9 in the evening. It’s the story of a brother and sister who pass for white as they have a drop of black blood. The ancestry has ruined her chance for happiness because she is being of “an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations.” Despite a busy work day, I devoured 145 pages of this novel. It might be slightly overwritten, but for a book written at the time when not everyone was created equal, it’s not contrived to me at all.

One Response

  1. I’m intrigued by your latest read. It’s wonderful that you have found a special place to find books like these.

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