A New Book
In "The Wife of His Youth, and Other Stories of the Color Line," by Charles W. Chesnutt, we have a variation of most of the methods employed by American story writers in handling the characterizations of our people, either before of since their emancipation, from a humorous or a pathetic point of view, and one that is so striking and so novel that it may fairly be called a new departure in Afro-American fiction, or a find and wise departure in art, since, instead of trying to move compassion, it simply aims to interest. The art of Mr. Chesnutt in these stories of his is so fine, so elusive, so shadowy, and yet so sincere and real, that one is compelled to feel it and remember it, with-out quite understanding it. One can hardly read "The Wife of His Youth" or "Her Vinginia Mammy" without the con-sciousness of tears in his eyes and tenderness in his heart for the manhood and womanhood that he feels there, the pathos that no mere suffering could provoke, the subtle melancholy that has made Mr. Chesnutt its poet--the "Laureate of the Color Line."--Mail and Express, New York City.
Rev. of The Wife of His Youth in "A New Book," The Gazette [Cleveland] 30 Dec. 1899: 2 [Reprint of Richard Henry Stoddard's review in "World of Letters," Mail and Express [New York] 9 Dec. 1899: Ed. Sect. 8.]