Chesnutt's Works





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Some Recent Light Novels

"The Conjure Woman" is a series of short stories by Charles W. Chesnutt, which tell, with delightful accuracy, some of the race superstitions of the negroes in North Carolina. The author was interested in grape culture in Northern Ohio, when it was found advisable to move to a Southern climate on account of the failing health of his wife. He finally purchased a plantation, and in searching for a satisfactory one he ran against "The Goophered Grape Vine," which is the subject of his first story. It is related by an old negro, who tells him how a former vineyard there had fallen away and withered because of the "hoodoo" laid upon it by a Northern expert. The negro strongly advised the writer not to purchase, but he was not to be deterred and learned afterward that the old story teller had long reaped a considerable return from the neglected vines. Showing the narration did not spring from a mere foundation of faith in its truth, but from a motive of questionable selfishness. There are seven stories altogether, one of which, the conjurer's revenge, met with deserved attention when published in the pages of a magazine. "The Gray Wolf's Ha'nt," and "Hot Foot Hannibal," are tinged with Oriental color and are altogether delightful. The book is published by Houghton, Mifflin & Co.


"The Conjure Woman," in "New Books," Philadelphia Times 2 Apr 1899: 24. [Compare this review with the review in The Freeman [Indianapolis] 22 April 1899 written by Charles Alexander. At one time Alexander was a freelance writer for the Philadelphia Times. This anonymous review may also have been written by him.]