Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance

Carla Kaplan, Author
Carla Kaplan. Harper, $28.99 (576p) ISBN 978-0-06-088238-9
Reviewed on: 06/03/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
Ebook - 544 pages - 978-0-06-219912-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4830-0331-3
Paperback - 505 pages - 978-0-06-088237-2
Book - 978-0-06-234756-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4830-0332-0
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Northeastern University literature and gender studies scholar Kaplan (Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters) shares the previously untold story of a group of notable white women who embraced black culture—and life—in Harlem in the 1920s and ’30s. Collectively known as “Miss Anne,” these women served as hostesses, patrons, activists, comrades, lovers, writers, and editors at a time when the Ku Klux Klan was at its height, and when a white woman who became intimate with a “Negro” faced almost certain ostracism. A captivating group biography and social history, the book focuses on six women: Lillian Wood (Let My People Go), a teacher at a small black college; Josephine Cogdell Schuyler, a Texan heiress who married black journalist George Schuyler and became a writer herself, yet had to keep her interracial marriage hidden from her family; Barnard college founder Annie Nathan Meyer; influential patron Charlotte Osgood Mason; novelist Fannie Hurst; and English heiress Nancy Cunard. An empathetic and skillful writer, Kaplan has produced a valuable addition to the history of the period. As she shows, Miss Anne defied categorization, transcending her race, class, and gender, and introducing many of the ideas we hold today about inclusiveness and self-reinvention. 54 b&w photos and two 8-page color inserts. Agent: Brettne Bloom, Kneerim & Williams. (Sept.)
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