Charles W. Chesnutt

Chesnutt, Charles Waddell

Charles Waddell Chesnutt (wädĕl´), 1858–1932, American author and lawyer, b. Cleveland, Ohio. In 1887 he was admitted to the Ohio bar. His short stories were first published in the Atlantic Monthly and syndicated newspapers. At first, his publishers withheld the fact that he was black. A sensitive chronicler of life in the Reconstruction South, he is best known for The Conjure Woman (1899), a series of stories about slave life. His other writings include a volume of stories, The Wife of His Youth (1899), and the novels The House Behind the Cedars (1900) and The Colonel's Dream (1905). Critics consider his finest novel to be The Marrow of Tradition (1901).

See biographies by H. M. Chesnutt (1952), J. N. Hermance (1974), and F. R. Keller (1977); studies by S. L. Render (1974) and W. L. Andrews (1980).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Chesnutt and Realism: A Study of the Novels
Ryan Simmons.
University of Alabama Press, 2006
Neither Fish, Flesh, nor Fowl: Race and Region in the Writings of Charles W. Chesnutt
Fleischmann, Anne.
African American Review, Vol. 34, No. 3, Fall 2000
Whiteness in the Novels of Charles W. Chesnutt
Matthew Wilson.
University Press of Mississippi, 2004
The Descent of Love: Darwin and the Theory of Sexual Selection in American Fiction, 1871-1926
Bert Bender.
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 11 "Race and Sexual Selection in Charles W. Chesnutt's The House Behind the Cedars"
The Apocalypse in African-American Fiction
Maxine Lavon Montgomery.
University Press of Florida, 1996
Charles W. Chesnutt, the Conjure Woman, and the Racial Limits of Literary Mediation
Petrie, Paul R.
Studies in American Fiction, Vol. 27, No. 2, Autumn 1999
A Question of Character: Scientific Racism and the Genres of American Fiction, 1892-1912
Cathy Boeckmann.
University of Alabama Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Howells and Chesnutt: The Racial Uses of Genre"
Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy
David S. Cecelski; Timothy B. Tyson.
University of North Carolina Press, 1998
Black Culture and the Harlem Renaissance
Cary D. Wintz.
Rice University Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Literary Roots"
The Negro Genius: A New Appraisal of the Achievement of the American Negro in Literature and the Fine Arts
Benjamin Brawley.
Biblio and Tannen Publishers, 1966
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VI "The Maturing of Negro Literature: Charles W. Chesnutt, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Booker T. Washington, Archibald H. Grimke"
To Make a Poet Black
J. Saunders Redding.
McGrath Publishing, 1968
Librarian’s tip: Includes discussion of Charles W. Chesnutt in Chap. 3 "Adjustment"
Dislocating the Color Line: Identity, Hybridity, and Singularity in African-American Narrative
Samira Kawash.
Stanford University Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "A Question of Justice: Chesnutt's Twins Across the Color Line"
Revisiting Racialized Voice: African American Ethos in Language and Literature
David G. Holmes.
Southern Illinois University Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Chesnutt's Reconstruction of Race and Dialect"
The Afro-American Novel and Its Tradition
Bernard W. Bell.
University of Massachusetts Press, 1989
Librarian’s tip: "Charles Waddell Chesnutt (1858-1932)" begins on p. 63
The White Image in the Black Mind: A Study of African American Literature
Jane Davis.
Greenwood Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Includes information on Charles W. Chestnutt in Chap. 2 "White Types in Black Lives"
Search for more books and articles on Charles W. Chesnutt