Winner of the College Language Association Book Award
Frances Smith Foster has rediscovered three novels by Frances E. W. Harper, the best-known African-American writer of the nineteenth century and author of the classic Iola Leroy. Originally serialized in issues of The Christian Recorder between 1868 and 1888, these works address issues of passing, social responsibility, courtship, sexuality, and temperance, and are the first to have been written specifically for an African-American audience.
“The novels challenge everything we thought we knew about American literature, about African American culture and about the course of literary history.” -Ann duCille, The Women’s Review of Books
“Add[s] both depth and detail to the legacy of [Frances Harper].” -Bob McCollough, The Boston Globe
“A major publishing event. The Harper novels-lively, idealistic and fun to read-change the shape of our literary canon forever. Foster’s introduction sizzles. If only all literary criticism could be like this!”
-Jane Tompkins, author of Sensational Design and West of Everything