The House Behind the Cedars
Originally published in 1900, this groundbreaking novel by a distinguished African-American author explores the Southern obsession with race. The drama of a brother and sister who "pass for white" during the dangerous days of Reconstruction, it offers realistic, unsentimental perspectives on the role of race in 19th-century American life.
im not sure how i feel including this in my "summer of missed classics" jag, because of all of my goodreads.com friends, no one has read it. so its not really in the same league as pride and prejudice or notes from underground, where it was just me who had skipped 'em. but its still something ive always meant to read, but never got around to. that said - it should have been read by all of my goodreads.com friends, real or faking it. it is an amazing piece of writing that gives me...more
John's white skin and thirst for knowledge led him to become a highly intelligent young man, and when he was old enough to leave, he set out to make a new life for himself as a lawyer. He acquired a white wife who...more
The book started out very strong, I was expecting somewhat similar to The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, but with a little more political charge. However, it turned into an ill-fated love story, at times predictable, at times infuriating, and at times just plain sad.
The imagery of the house behind the cedars was possibly one of the most beautiful parts of the story...more
Of course the ending can only lead to tragedy. Anytime you lose touch with self, this is the only inevitably road.
However, I'm so glad I found this amazing piece of literature that has so long been hidden from view except as a classroom assignment. I consider it tragic that more people have not been exposed to the subject matter or to Chesnutt's writing style. Held it today after t...more