Beacon Press: Plum Bun
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Plum Bun

A Novel Without a Moral

Author: Jessie Redmon Fauset   Foreword by: Morgan Jerkins   Afterword: Deborah McDowell

For readers of The Vanishing Half, a hidden gem from the Harlem Renaissance about a young Black woman’s journey toward self-acceptance while passing as white in 1920s New York City.

Originally published in 1929 at the height of the Harlem Renaissance, Plum Bun is the story of Angela Murray, a young Black woman of mixed heritage who uses the advantages of her lighter skin to escaper her own life. Beginning with a childhood in her Black middle class Philadelphia neighborhood, Angela dreams of being a renowned painter. She believes she will only achieve this through whiteness and being a part of white society. Bestowed with the light skin of her mother, while her sister Virginia’s darker complexion resembles that of their father’s, Angela refuses to accept a life dictated by the limitations that come with her race and gender.

Leaving behind her family and identity, Angela escapes to a roaring New York City where she befriends the art elites and presents herself as a white woman. Thrust into a world of seduction, betrayal, love, lust, and heartbreak, Angela soon discovers that to find true fulfillment within herself, she must accept and embrace her own identity—both her race and gender. Written with meticulous care and appreciation for the complicated nature of her characters, while also highlighting the beauty of every day Black life, Jessie Redmon Fauset’s Plum Bun raises important questions to inspire new readers.

About the Series

Celebrating Black Women Writers reissues and revives Beacon Press’s previously published literary works by black women. The series uplifts exceptional work written by black women in honor of their stories, lives, and experiences throughout history and beyond.
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“A key figure in the Harlem Renaissance movement. A force to be reckoned with. She. Was. Amazing.”
—Shonda Rhimes

“One gets, with thought and study, lights on human character. The book is, therefore, well worth reading: not simply from its point of view, but from its human touch and interesting action and plot.”
—W. E. B. Du Bois

“An engrossing novel of women’s lives and experiences. . . . Jessie Redmon Fauset uses Angela’s development as the springboard to explore larger issues that have become regarded as central to Black women’s fiction: the experience of passing, the exploitation of women as sexual objects and thus a questioning of heterosexual relationships, the assertion of racial pride, and the primacy of female bonding.”
—Mary Katherine Wainwright, Belles Lettres

“A fascinating glimpse of a now-vanished Harlem culture.”
—Rosalind Warren, New Directions for Women

“A reminder of how entertaining good writing can be.”
—Ernest R. Mercer, East St. Louis Monitor

Foreword by Morgan Jerkins



Plum Bun

Home Again

Market Is Done

Afterword by Deborah McDowell


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Plum Bun

ISBN: 978-080700660-3
Publication Date: 3/8/2022
Size:5.5 x 8.5 Inches (US)
Price:  $17.00
Format: Paperback
Availability: In stock.
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