A historic collection of perceptive tales from a luminary of nineteenth-century literature
First published in 1904, The Heart of Happy Hollow features sixteen short stories that provide rare glimpses into the lives of African Americans after the Civil War. Through characters ranging from schemers to preachers, Paul Laurence Dunbar crafted a rare snapshot of long-lost communities and their poignant sensibilities. An author who achieved remarkable versatility, he draws on language that is by turns folksy and formal, putting forth controversial vernacular dialects as easily as he delivers a hauntingly poetic scene. In this collection, readers meet an influential entrepreneur who must navigate a treacherous political landscape; a Southern spiritual leader who must learn to accept the mores of his son, who was educated in the North; a reporter who restores hope in Santa Claus to a group of destitute siblings; and a host of other unique men and women giving voice to timeless themes.Dunbar’s work has deservingly experienced a recent revival among commercial and scholarly audiences alike, and noted scholar Eleanor Alexander, author of the critically acclaimed biography Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore further contextualizes Dunbar’s contributions to American letters. A captivating read, The Heart of Happy Hollow will introduce more book lovers to this revered storyteller and visionary.