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Glorious Paperback – May 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936070111
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936070114
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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)
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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

More About the Author

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

Customer Reviews

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Very well written.
Pamela Myers
You will not get to the end and feel uplifted, lighthearted or anything remotely "feel good".
Glorious is a heart-wrenching novel by Bernice L. McFadden.
Urban Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A reader on 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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Angelia Menchan on 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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By L. R. Bobbitt on 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 By Amazon Customer on 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 By Diamonte Hamlett on May 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am a huge Bernice McFadden fan. My mother had not read full novel in her life until Sugar, Ms. McFadden's first book. Which was a proud moment for me.

Glorious is a history book. Woven throughout the story are these little nuggets of information that, even though they are tempered with creative license ring true. I had never heard of Ota Benga, the African pygmy, one of the first humans to be exhibited in a zoo and Marcus Garvey was nothing more than a man with a feather in his hat and empirical looking garb that hung on the walls of my elementary school. Against this rich historical backdrop is the story of Easter Bartlett. Easter endures injustice after injustice in the Jim Crow South and Edgar Hoover North, and tries to cope with a forbidden unreciprocated love, but through it all her gifting and talent shines. When her legacy is stolen, she revisits the place of her birth and discovers that her life has truly been glorious and the hatred that seemed to follow her did not win and was defeated by the consuming fire of resiliency.

Ms. McFadden is one of the literary giants of our times and has a voice as clear Alice Walkers and work as allegorical as Morrison's. One day her books will be required reading like the works of Zora Neale Hurston and Edith Wharton. If you like the Secret Life of Bees, then you will love Glorious. The characters stay with and continue to resonate with you even after the last page has turned. Bernice is resurrecting the true art of story telling.
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