Harlem Renaissance: five novels of the 1920s edited by Rafia Zafar

Mar 04

Harlem Renaissance: five novels of the 1920s edited by Rafia Zafar

This was a very interesting read. Harlem Renaissance: Five Novels of the 1920s edited by Rafia Zafar, is just as the title suggests–five novels written by African American authors during or about the Harlem Renaissance. This was a fascinating period in black history for many reasons. One, it is where a lot of black intellectuals began to become known in various fields–literature, music, art, scholarly pursuits. It really was a golden age for post-slavery African Americans. The five novels in this book are: Jean Toomer’s Cane written in 1923 — it is a story about a woman in Georgia, a teacher, who struggles with who she is as a black woman and how her ‘race’ affects her; Claude McKay’s Home to Harlem written in 1928, a story of two young men with very different backgrounds, both African American, and how they deal with the prejudices and stereotypes of white America — it is rich with culture–jazz and excitement– prohibition and drinking, and even sex– this is a story of defining a race from within the race and starting a cultural revolution, it is a good peek into Harlem in the 1920’s; next was Nella Larsen’s Quicksand which is a story about a woman who is half black, half white–she struggles with who she is, who her people are and how she can connect within a society so divided when she is not white or black but both; Jessie Redmon Fauset’s Plum Bun written in 1928 is the story of two African American sisters–they are different in many ways–one, the main character, is pale and can pass as a white person and so she does, but she learns how deserting your roots and your culture is not always the best thing, rarely ever is, actually, but how to be black in a white dominant culture is the question she is trying to answer; and finally Wallace Thurman’s The Blacker the Berry written in 1929, is a story about a young woman, Emma, who is very dark skinned and how this influenced how other African Americans, as well as whites, treated her, this story digs into how the culture of color went inside the African American communities as well as the...

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2013 Reading Challenges

Jan 03

I want to try some new stuff, reattempt some I didn’t tackle last year and just enjoy reading. This year, I am joining even more reading challenges! However, I might join at lower levels. Instead of ‘Go big or go home”, I am choosing to “go small and stay home. 🙂 A little of the old,   Definition of a chunkster: A chunkster is 450 pages or more of ADULT literature, whether non-fiction or fiction. A chunkster should be a challenge. Level: The Chubby Chunkster – this option is for the readers who want to dabble in large tomes, but really doesn’t want to commit to much more than that. FOUR Chunksters is all you need to finish this challenge. 1. Harlem Renaissance : five novels of the 1920s edited by Rafia Zafar (Review) 2. 11/22/63 by Stephen King (849 pages) 3. The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (672 pages) 4. _____________________________________________________ ** ** A little of the new… ** ** _____________________________________________________   Rules: Read x amount of books, one in each category you choose. Books cannot be re-read, except category 9. Each month post about your experience reading and link back. You can overlap categories. Level: It’s not so bad out here!:  5-7 categories 1.  It’s my Birthday! So, have a party! Read a book that was published in either your birth month or birth year! Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and Drawings of Shel Silverstein (Review) 2.  It’s All About ME! Read a memoir. (True Compass or Tis’ or Angela’s Ashes or Teacher Man by Frank McCourt) 3. Visit an Old Friend Read a favorite again. 4. I couldn’t help myself! Grab a book by it’s cover—cover love. 5. To be or Not to be… Read a play, memorize a poem and analyze it since it’s rolling around in your head! 6. XyZ pdQ Grab a book that has either an X, Z or Q in the title! Or in the author’s name. (Quiet by Susan Cain or The Lost City of X by David Grann) _____________________________________________________   The only rules are to read x-amount of books over 650 pages and enjoy tea while you do it. =) A C.S. Lewis inspired challenge. I like it. I...

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