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Glorious [Kindle Edition]

Bernice L. McFadden
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"The seeming inevitability of cruel fate juxtaposes the triumph of the spirit in this remarkably rich and powerful novel, Glorious. Bernice McFadden's fully realized characters are complicated, imperfect beings, but if ever a character were worthy of love and honor, it is her Easter Bartlett. This very American story is fascinating; it is also heartbreaking, thought-provoking, and beautifully written."—Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of The Scenic Route

"Riveting. . . . I am as impressed by its structural strength as by the searing and expertly imagined scenes.”—Toni Morrison, on The Warmest December

>Glorious is set against the backdrops of the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights era. Blending the truth of American history with the fruits of Bernice L. McFadden’s rich imagination, this is the story of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose tumultuous path to success, ruin, and revival offers a candid portrait of the American experience in all its beauty and cruelty.

Glorious is ultimately an audacious exploration into the nature of self-hatred, love, possession, ego, betrayal, and, finally, redemption.

aBernice L. McFadden is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, including the classic Sugar and Nowhere Is a Place, which was a Washington Post best fiction title for 2006. She is a two-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of two fiction honors from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). McFadden lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she is working on her next novel.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

McFadden, in her powerful seventh novel, tells the story of Easter Bartlett as she journeys from the violent Jim Crow South to the promise of the Harlem Renaissance and the civil rights movement. Along the way, Easter forms relationships with both products of McFadden's imagination and actual historical figures: Rain, the sensuous and passionate dancer in Slocum's Traveling Brigade, a troupe that traveled the backwoods entertaining negroes; Colin, Easter's husband, who is provoked by a duplicitous friend into assassinating the Universal Negro Improvement Association leader, Marcus Garvey; Meredith, Easter's untrustworthy benefactor; and many more, including poet Langston Hughes, pianist Fats Waller, and shipping heiress Nancy Cunard. McFadden (Sugar) weaves rich historical detail with Easter's struggle to find peace in a racially polarized country, and she brings Harlem to astounding life: The air up there, up south, up in Harlem, was sticky sweet and peppered with perfume, sweat, sex, curry, salt meat, sautéed chicken livers, and fresh baked breads. Easter's hope for love to overthrow hate—and her intense exposure to both—cogently stands for America's potential, and McFadden's novel is a triumphant portrayal of the ongoing quest. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

After her sister’s rape and her mother’s death of a broken heart, Easter walked away from Waycross, Georgia, and spent most of the rest of her life trying to walk away from pain and hate. She’d witnessed a lynching, joined a traveling vaudeville show, and fallen in love with a heartless woman, before she eventually ended up in Harlem just on the brink of its renaissance. She is there when Marcus Garvey is enthralling crowds of black folks longing for a respite from racism in America, including her West Indian–born husband, and when striving writers are finding white benefactors. She joins in the ebb and flow of life in Harlem, rising and falling, sorting out her emotions and the sundry heartaches of life in her writing, until she is caught in a scandal that ends the glorious if unstructured life she has been living. McFadden interweaves fiction with the historic period of the Harlem Renaissance in this novel about a woman’s struggle against hate and disappointment. --Vanessa Bush

Product Details

  • File Size: 2423 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (May 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008G3GSQS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,826 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glory, Glorious! March 31, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Glorious by Bernice McFadden grabbed me by the throat from the very first page and would not let me go until I was done. I continued to sit the book aside, because I did not want it to end too soon. Ms. McFadden has written a glorious story that is a wonderful juxtaposition of the present and the past, the truth and fiction.

Easter Bartlett's life starts out pretty hard in Waycross, Georgia. In 1910 she sees her sister violated, her father emasculated and her mother dead due to a broken heart. And from that day forward Easter does what she does best, she leave, she moves on. There is restlessness in her spirit that will not allow her to stay anyplace when her heart tells her to move on. The only thing that provides her with peace is reading and writing. We watch Easter as she travels from the South to New York and we get to see the people she fall in love with. There is Rain, a woman who loves women that Easter loves but they are never lovers. There is Colin, the man Easter loves and marries who loses his way after being betrayed. And there is Meredith, the Negrophile, who befriends and betrays Easter in ways unimaginable. Mostly, there is the brief, yet wonderful career Easter had as a wonderful writer in that period known as the Harlem Renaissance.

Glorious is as wonderful literary treat that will have the reader's eyes flying over the pages, envisioning every situation. And it is also a wonderful book filled with history lessons. I recommend Glorious to all readers who love wonderful books.

Angelia Menchan
APOOO BookClub
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read... March 24, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What defines a great book? It is the ability to see, feel, and experience all that the characters are going through. It's reading passages that makes you want to reach into the pages to protect, shake up, or hug characters that are so well drawn, you feel as though you know them. It's a story that doesn't offer a happy ending, but no doubt, a real one. "Glorious" is that type of book. Bernice McFadden tells the story of Easter with unflinching and unapologetic honesty. There were so many times when I wanted so much more for Easter, but Ms. McFadden kept it truthful with a realness that was almost heartbreaking. "Glorious" is multi-leveled and an incredible read, full of historical facts and as timely today as when the story took place in the last century. It is surely destined to become a classic in years to come. Congratulations Ms. McFadden. Your star continues to burn brightly, a beacon for us all...

Margaret Johnson-Hodge
Author of "Red Light Green Light"
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious is GLORIOUS! March 22, 2010
Format:Paperback
From the dirt roads of Waycross, Georgia to the busy streets of Harlem, Bernice McFadden once again delivers perfection in her latest novel, Glorious. With actual historical events playing in the background, we are introduced to Easter Bartlett and her family.

The historic "Fight of the Century" between Jack Johnson and James Jeffries sets in motion a series of events that eventually push Easter out of Georgia and eventually land her in Harlem. Much mention is made of Marcus Garvey and his Universal Negro Improvement Association. A story set in Harlem at such a time would be incomplete with referencing the Harlem Renaissance and Ms. McFadden deftly weaves in noted members of the Renaissance, including A'lelia Walker, daughter of Madame CJ Walker and a patron of the arts, and Langston Hughes. Others such as Claude McKay and Carl Van Vechten are also mentioned.

With writing as rich and vivid as only she can do it, Ms. McFadden draws you into the life of Easter Bartlett and doesn't release you easily. Though their stories are not the same, I couldn't help but to compare Easter Barlett to Wallace Thurman's Emma Lou Brown from The Blacker the Berry, with both women seeking refuge in Harlem. I found myself yearning to read this while at the same time putting it down in order to savor it and prolong the inevitable end. While I usually give away books that I've already read, this is one that will have to stay in my library.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Literary Feast! April 19, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are good books and there are simply books, "Glorious" falls into neither category. Ms. McFadden has taken keyboard to fingers and has presented us with a great book, in the league of Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Ralph Ellison great.

Unfolding the chapters is like watching a master chef whip up a culinary feast and you sit there salivating over each newly added, exotic ingredient. Her pulse pounding prose left me frustrated as I couldn't flick the pages quickly enough to find out the next fixating moment.

Ms. McFadden has always possessed an immaculate and stellar quality this is obvious in such works as "Sugar" and "This Bitter Earth". She far exceeds herself this time concocting a special magic in this novel that sends my mind many times racing back to the early works of Toni Morrison. Like anything that's delightful you want it to last and linger. I find myself pulling away from the pages, just so I can savor its sweetness another day. Thanks so much Ms. McFadden for this beautiful gift of artistry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The next Hurston April 10, 2010
By Tami W.
Format:Paperback
I've suffered through some 20th Century Novel courses for college. Now don't get me wrong, I loved A Tree Grows In Brooklyn and Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. But in all honesty I couldn't get through most of the other EIGHT books we had to read in the 8 week semester.

Had Bernice McFadden's book been in that course, I would have had a book that I could read in no time at all and would have honestly enjoyed.

When I started this book I will admit that I was a little taken aback by the "20th Century Novelishness" (yes, another made up word...love having my own blog) of it. I said to myself, "Self, I'll read for a minute and then put it down." Well I don't listen well, even to myself.

In about 5 minutes I was forty pages into the book and my fiance looked at me a little odd. (It must have been the look on my face of pure confusion and delight!)

"She didn't waste a word! Not one single word! Every word had meaning and carried this story forward. I didn't have a chance to get bored at all. I honestly thought I'd only read 10 pages!"

In my very humble (correct) opinion Glorious will be read as thoroughly and with as much reverence as Ms. Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. This book had me running through every gamut of feelings known to man! Love, lust, sadness, despair, hate, desire, fear, happiness, and loneliness. I recommend anyone who enjoys realistic, heart-wrenching, perfectly written fiction stop now and order Glorious TODAY!

I would like to thank Bernice McFadden, in conjunction with BookBlogs, for her kindness in allowing me to review this wonderful book! This book will be donated to the Hepburn Library so that others may share in this wonderful reading experience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful story
It is a good story told with a lot of insight and truth. I felt a mixture of pity, guilt and anger that such situations exist(ed) in America. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Jay 5
3.0 out of 5 stars I've read better pieces from the author.
The book starts off pretty interesting, and ends pretty dull. Not enough substance from certain characters but over all an alright read.
Published 19 days ago by Sonny P.
1.0 out of 5 stars but was very disappointed in this book
I'm not sure what I expected, but was very disappointed in this book. Sorry I had ever spent the money on it, as I didn't get past the second chapter.
Published 21 days ago by Barbara S Lallier
5.0 out of 5 stars Love all the way around!
McFadden has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I love her style of storytelling, in all of its horror, love, and forgiveness. I hang on every word.
Published 1 month ago by JMS
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This book was great, a good read. We read this book in our book club. I recommend this book.
Published 1 month ago by Carolyn Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love all this authors books
Published 4 months ago by Lisa King
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
I was so excited to see another book by Ms McFadden. I quickly downloaded it and could not put it down. Her books never disappoint and is a page turner. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Diamond Heart
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Really enjoyed reading, hung on every page, great reading
Published 8 months ago by jamillah Dyson Durham
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful,!
I love the story .....kept me involved to the end. I feel as though I know the characters. Me. McFadden stories have so much integrity as she weaves historical events through the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Andrietta L. West
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh WOW! Bernice McFadden!!!!
Bernice is such a down to earth Author! She is one who's books pull you right into the story from the get go. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Nanette Evans
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More About the Author

I am mother, daughter, sister and friend. All I've ever wanted was to be happy. Writing makes me happy.

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