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The Human Stain: A Literary Discussion
June 29 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Avon Free Public Library, 281 Country Club Rd
Avon, CT 06001 United States
Race Matters: Racial Passing and the American Literary Imagination
This two-part discussion series considers representations of racial passing in two important 21st century American novels: Philip Roth’s The Human Stain (2000) and Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half (2020). Both novels address the themes of racial identity and passing by revealing how racial identity matters. They balance the language of freedom used to describe the experience of passing with the language of violence: “vanishing,” “murder,” “killing,” and, in the case of Coleman Silk in The Human Stain, “slipping the punch.” These two novels published nearly 100 years after James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912) and Nella Larsen’s Passing (1929) reveal how the American literary imagination continues to explore the effects of racial passing. Please join us for one or both of the programs:
Tuesday, June 1 The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Tuesday, June 29 The Human Stain by Philip Roth
Both discussions will be led by Dr. Aimee Pozorski, CCSU English Department.