There Is Confusion

There Is Confusion

There Is Confusion

There Is Confusion

Synopsis

Set in Philadelphia some 60 years ago, There Is Confusion traces the lives of Joanna Mitchell and Peter Bye, whose families must come to terms with an inheritance of prejudice and discrimination as they struggle for legitimacy and respect.

Excerpt

The appearance of Jessie Redmon Fauset There Is Confusion in the spring of 1924 ushered in a remarkable season in African-American letters. Following by less than a year the publication of Jean Toomer Cane (1923), and issuing from the same New York publishing house, Boni and Liveright, Fauset's novel seemed to solidify a changed literary climate for the works of African-American writers.Claude McKay's book of poems, Harlem Shadows (1922), and the poetry of Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and others, printed in New York magazines during the early 1920s, had been the harbingers of this change. When There Is Confusion was published, Walter White novel The Fire in the Flint (1924) was in press, while Cullen and Hughes were already at work on collections of poems that would appear in the next two years--Cullen Color (1925) and Hughes Weary Blues (1926). At no prior point in African-American literary history had there been such a conjunction of talent in expression and access to publication.

Fauset's work, in fact, was rushed into print to take advantage of the eagerness with which both Harlem's emerging group of "New Negro" writers (though that label was not yet popularly used) and the downtown Manhattan white literary establishment anticipated its appearance. As the author duly noted in the corrected first edition: "Because of the great interest shown in the novel prior to its publication, the attempt to meet the publication date has caused a number of errors to appear uncorrected in the first copies printed." Not only did Boni and Liveright correct the initial plates for the first edition, but the company also launched the book with a major adver-

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