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Comedy: American Style

(Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the Americas (MELA))

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Comedy: American Style (1933), Fauset's fourth and last published novel, is the tragic story of how color prejudice and racial self-hatred result in the destruction of a family. The work is filled with vivid characters: Olivia Cary, whose mania in passing for white poisons her relationships with those closest to her; her daughter, Teresa, compelled by her mother to make ch ...more
Published December 1st 1995 by G. K. Hall & Company (first published November 30th 1932)
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Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jessie Redmon Fauset was a writer of the Harlem Renaissance who is not nearly as well known as some of the other Renaissance writers. I think this novel deserves to be read by those who believe Nella Larsen's Passing is important as the topic is the same, and in my opinion, the quality of writing is equal.

This novel is oddly named because there is nothing comedic about the story. It is about a black family in Philadelphia in the 1920s and 30s. The matriarch of the family wants desperately to pas
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read my first Jessie Fauset and I’m excited to read the rest of her novels & non-fiction. Comedy: American Style is an ensemble piece with the character Olivia Cary as the connector and inciter of the story. Olivia is determined to live as a white woman at any cost, a zeal that stretches decades and leaves broken relationships and lives in her wake. It’s a book that shows how Black people who could pass for white either rejected the notion, wrestled with it, or embraced it; the ridiculousness of ...more
Lady Poppy
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school-reads
I had to read this for a class, and I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. ...more
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was so compelling because of the richly drawn characters and the sense of impending tragedy that suffused every page. Suspenseful in a heartbreaking way.
Mar 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
i love jessie fauset. this is her last published novel and it's her darkest. in that way, it's interesting and incendiary and i definitely like it better than the chinaberry tree and there is confusion, but i'm not quite sure whether it's better than plum bum. i will say that it seems all of her books have the same archetypes. ...more
Jul 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Dark bitter exploration of the costs of passing, of not being able to pass, of mothering, and of marrying a Frenchman.
Zach Herman
Remarkable in its ability to subtly convey the immense psychological toll of racism on its victims. What is suggested indirectly in "The Blacker The Berry" is made apparent here, to harrowing effect. ...more
Aurora Deshauteurs
It was the least favorite of her books but it had a n interesting story.
Jun 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Read this on Michael's recommendation, and I'm really glad I did. I wasn't crazy about the writing style, but I totally empathized with the characters and--in most cases--their tragedies. ...more
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Jessie Redmon Fauset was an American editor, poet, essayist and novelist.

Fauset was born in Fredericksville, an all-black hamlet in Camden County, New Jersey, also known as Free Haven (now incorporated into the borough of Lawnside, New Jersey). She was the daughter of Anna "Annie" Seamon and Redmon Fauset, a Presbyterian minister. Her mother died when she was still a young girl. Her father remarri

Other books in the series

Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the Americas (MELA) (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Shadowed Dreams: Women's Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance
  • Chinatown Family
  • Daughter of the Revolution: The Major Nonfiction Works of Pauline Hopkins
  • A Long Way From Home
  • Empire and the Literature of Sensation: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Popular Fiction
  • Visions and Divisions: American Immigration Literature, 1870-1930
  • Holy Prayers in a Horse's Ear: A Japanese American Memoir
  • Zora Neale Hurston: Collected Plays
  • An American in the Making: The Life Story of an Immigrant
  • The Grand Gennaro

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