ANGEL OF HARLEM

Kuwana Haulsey, Author . Random/One World $19.95 (340p) ISBN 978-0-375-50870-7

May Edward Chinn (1896–1980), the first black female doctor in New York City, is the inspiration for Haulsey's (The Red Moon ) stirring second novel. May's mother, Lulu, makes tremendous sacrifices for her talented daughter, working to send May to the best schools and to secure a piano for May to explore her musical talent. A high school pregnancy is a hurdle, but Lulu arranges for the baby's informal adoption, and May aces the entrance examination for Columbia's Teacher's College. When a racist professor forces her away from music, she turns to science, doggedly continuing through medical school despite setbacks and discouragement, earning the grudging respect of her colleagues, the gratitude of her patients and the attention of a series of suitors. After she completes an internship at Harlem Hospital (the first black woman to do so), she works in a sanatorium before eventually opening her own practice. The novel is faithful to the known details of Chinn's life, and the vibrancy of 1920s Harlem shines through in Chinn's fictitious encounters with prominent historical figures of the time, from Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes to Jean Toomer, Fats Waller and Wallace Thurman. Haulsey's respectful homage to Chinn and her accomplishments will bring overdue attention to this notable figure in African-American history. Agent, Eileen Cope at Lowenstein/Yost Associates. (Sept. 28)

Reviewed on: 09/06/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 234 pages - 978-0-307-51307-6
Paperback - 344 pages - 978-0-375-76133-1
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