Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Nigger Heaven
Carl Van Vechten

£17.99

A controversial if vivacious celebration of Harlem and the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, presenting a spirited love triangle in prose that reads like jazz. The book when published was received with both steep praise and sharp criticism. Nella Larsen, Langston Hughes and Gertrude Stein all defended the novel for bringing Harlem society and racial issues to the forefront of America. Wallace Thurman was critical, DuBois dismissed the book as “cheap melodrama;” Ralph Ellison’s recollection was that Van Vechten was an unpleasant man who “introduced a note of decadence into Afro-American literary matters which was not needed.”

Paperback, 336pp
University of Illinois Press, 2019 (1926)
ISBN 9780252068607