Although I am very familiar with the movie of the same name, until recently I was completely unaware that it was based on a book that had been written some years earlier. And then, when I found a copy of the book, I was in for a bigger shock. The novel tells the story of Bea Pullman, a young woman who was forced by economic circumstances to marry a man many years her senior and soon finds herself a widow and young mother with a ailing father to look after. No one will give her much of a chance, and her only income is through selling maple syrup and things look pretty desperate, until Delilah comes along and helps Bea to reshape her business. The pair enjoy a long and successful business relationship that lasts right up until Delilah dies, but much of their success is at the cost of their relationship with their daughters.

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Author: Fannie Hurst. Editor: Daniel Itzkovitz. Contributor: Daniel Itzkovitz. 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. Fannie Hurst — was a popular writer of many novels and short stories.

Among her best-known works are Back Street and Lummox He is a coeditor of Queer Theory and the Jewish Question. Bk Cover Image Full. Sign In. Search Cart. Search for:. 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.

Availability: In stock. Add to cart. Open Access. Request a desk or exam copy. Table of Contents Back to Top. Rights Back to Top. Awards Back to Top. Additional Information Back to Top. Paper ISBN: Publicity material Bk Cover Image Full.

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Within the Circle is the first anthology to present the entire spectrum of twentieth-century African American literary and cultural criticism. It begins with


Imitation of Life by Fannie Hurst

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Imitation of Life

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Imitation of Life is a popular novel by Fannie Hurst that was adapted into two successful films for Universal Pictures : a film , and a remake. It deals with issues of race, class, and gender. 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.


Fannie Hurst — was a popular writer of many novels and short stories. Among her best-known works are Back Street and Lummox He is a coeditor of Queer Theory and the Jewish Question. A bestseller in , and subsequently adapted into two beloved and controversial films, Imitation of Life has played a vital role in ongoing conversations about race, femininity, and the American Dream.

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