A Death In Harlem by Karla F.C. Holloway


“The secrets that emerge, it turns out, are all about race: racial pride, racial identity, racial passing, and the problematic relations between a Harlem community yearning for self-expression and the white institutions determined to police it while keeping it at a safe distance. . . Holloway brings her period, place, and people alive and provides as a bonus a most unexpected culprit.” Kirkus Reviews

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SKU: 9780810140813 Categories: , , ,


In A Death in Harlem, famed scholar Karla FC Holloway weaves a mystery in the bon vivant world of the Harlem Renaissance. Taking as her point of departure the tantalizingly ambiguous “death by misadventure” at the climax of Nella Larsen’s Passing, Holloway accompanies readers to the sunlit boulevards and shaded sidestreets of Jazz Age New York. A murder there will test the mettle, resourcefulness, and intuition of Harlem’s first “colored” policeman, Weldon Haynie Thomas.

Clear glass towers rising in Manhattan belie a city where people are often not what they seem. For some here, identity is a performance of passing—passing for another race, for another class, for someone safe to trust. Thomas’s investigation illuminates the societies and secret societies, the intricate code of manners, the world of letters, and the broad social currents of 1920s Harlem.

A Death in Harlem is an exquisitely crafted, briskly paced, and impeccably stylish journey back to a time still remembered as a peak of American glamour. It introduces Holloway as a fresh voice in storytelling, and Weldon Haynie Thomas as an endearing and unforgettable detective.

A Death In Harlem by Karla F.C. Holloway