5. Charles W. Chesnutt and the Fictions of a “New” America

  1. Alfred Bendixen Professor founder Executive Director2 and
  2. James Nagel Professor Rockefeller Fellow3
  1. Charles Duncan Professor Head Faculty

Published Online: 16 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444319910.ch5

A Companion to the American Short Story

A Companion to the American Short Story

How to Cite

Duncan, C. (2010) Charles W. Chesnutt and the Fictions of a “New” America, in A Companion to the American Short Story (eds A. Bendixen and J. Nagel), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444319910.ch5

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Texas A&M University, USA

  2. 3

    University of Georgia, USA

Author Information

  1. Peace College, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 19 FEB 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405115438

Online ISBN: 9781444319910



  • Charles W. Chesnutt and fictions of a “New” America;
  • end of nineteenth century - American short story getting firmly established;
  • Charles W. Chesnutt, on American literary scene - in late nineteenth century, hearing from muted American voices;
  • Charles W. Chesnutt's life and works - bridging many, seeming oppositions defining America;
  • Chesnutt's handling of voices - defining, in many ways, his short fiction;
  • Chesnutt's short stories, ante- and postbellum South, even conventional to readers;
  • Julius's tale about Henry, literalizing conflation of African American slaves and property;
  • stories about the South or escaping from the South - half of Chesnutt's stories focusing on lives of Northerners;
  • typical of Chesnutt's “Northern” stories - “Her Virginia Mammy,” an apparently conventional sentimental love story


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • References and Further Reading