Never before published, "A Business Career" is the story of Stella
Merwin, a white woman entering the working-class world to discover
the truth behind her upper-class father's financial failure. A New
Woman of the 1890s, Stella joins a stenographer's office and
uncovers a life-altering secret that allows her to regain her
status and wealth. When Charles W. Chesnutt died in 1932, he left
behind six manuscripts unpublished, "A Business Career" among them.
Along with novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar, it is one of the first
written by an African American who crosses the color line to write
about the white world. It is also one of only two Chesnutt novels
with a female protagonist. Rejecting the novel for publication,
Houghton Mifflin editor Walter Hines Page encouraged Chesnutt to
try to get the book in print. You will doubtless be able to find a
publisher, and my advice to you is decidedly to keep trying till
you do find one, he wrote. Page clearly saw that in "A Business
Career" Chesnutt had written a successful popular novel grounded in
realism but one that exploits elements of romance. Charles W.
Chesnutt (1858-1932) was an innovative and influential African
American writer of the late nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries. His novels include "The House Behind the Cedars," "The
Marrow of Tradition," "The Colonel's Dream," as well as the
posthumously published novel Paul Marchand, F.M.C. from University
Press of Mississippi.
University Press Of Mississippi
|Country of origin:
Charles W. Chesnutt
||Electronic book text
General & literary fiction >
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