FANNIE HURST IMITATION OF LIFE PDF

By Jordan St. Though largely forgotten today, her work was hugely popular in her heyday, roughly from the s through the early s. Her writing made her fabulously wealthy and she was acknowledged as one of the highest-paid American writers, male or female. Early life and career Fannie was born and raised in Hamilton, Ohio. Her parents were Jewish immigrants from Bavaria.

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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. 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 s, 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. This edition brings a classic of popular American literature back into print.

The male directors who specialized in this lowly genre have been elevated to the movie canon and their movies are widely accessible through theatrical screenings, video rentals, and DVD sales, but the female authors have been forgotten and their works have been long out of print. Finally, after 50 years of neglect, the tide appears to be turning. Hurst should be remembered as a Great American Storyteller, and one who did extraordinary things with the form.

Now this new edition of the novel brings this richly layered story back into public view, where it will, I hope, remain.

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Imitation of Life

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. 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 s, and it continues to resonate powerfully today.

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Fannie Hurst

Plot summary[ edit ] Set in the s at "the Shore" of New Jersey, the novel explores issues of race and class in early 20th-century America. Bea Chipley is a quiet, mousy Atlantic City teenage girl whose mother dies, leaving her to keep house for her father Mr. Chipley and Benjamin Pullman, a boarder who peddles ketchup and relish on the boardwalk and sells maple syrup door-to-door. Within a year, her father and Pullman decide that she should marry Pullman; she soon becomes pregnant and has a daughter named Jessie. Her father suffers an incapacitating stroke, confining him to a wheelchair, and Pullman is killed in a train accident.

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