Imitation of Life

Imitation of Life

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A bestseller in 1933, and subsequently adapted into two beloved and controversial films, Imitation of Life has played a vital role in ongoing conversations about race, femininity, and the American Dream. Bea Pullman, a white single mother, and her African American maid, Delilah Johnston, also a single mother, rear their daughters together and become business partners. Combining Beaa€™s business savvy with Delilaha€™s irresistible southern recipes, they build an Aunt Jemima-like waffle business and an international restaurant empire. Yet their public success brings them little happiness. Bea is torn between her responsibilities as a businesswoman and those of a mother; Delilah is devastated when her light-skinned daughter, Peola, moves away to pass as white. Imitation of Life struck a chord in the 1930s, and it continues to resonate powerfully today. The author of numerous bestselling novels, a masterful short story writer, and an outspoken social activist, Fannie Hurst was a major celebrity in the first half of the twentieth century. Daniel Itzkovitza€™s introduction situates Imitation of Life in its literary, biographical, and cultural contexts, addressing such topics as the debates over the novel and films, the role of Hursta€™s one-time secretary and great friend Zora Neale Hurston in the novela€™s development, and the response to the novel by Hursta€™s friend Langston Hughes, whose one-act satire, a€œLimitations of Lifea€ (which reverses the races of Bea and Delilah), played to a raucous Harlem crowd in the late 1930s. This edition brings a classic of popular American literature back into print.This edition brings a classic of popular American literature back into print.

Title:Imitation of Life
Author:Fannie Hurst
Publisher:Duke University Press - 2004-11-16


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