What people are saying…
“McFadden’s lively and loving rendering of New York hews closely to the jazz-inflected city of myth. . . . McFadden has a wonderful ear for dialogue, and her entertaining prose equally accommodates humor and pathos.”
—New York Times Book Review
“Bernice L. McFadden’s novel Glorious, which starts with a bang-up prologue, has a strong main character (based in part on Zora Neale Hurston), hard-driving prose, and historic sweep of several decades, including the years of the Harlem Renaissance, which has always fascinated me.”
—Jane Ciabattari, National Book Critics Circle President
“The book is sweeping in scope and brings to life the tenuous existence of an African-American artist in the early 20th century.”
—Vogue (Italian edition)
“I hadn’t read a word of hers before [Glorious], but I will follow her from now on.”
—Alan Cheuse, NPR
“The novel is so intense and sweeping at the same time. Some of the scenes were terrifying, and some were very comic in the irony of what the narrator was experiencing and what she was actually thinking. The word for a journey like this is picaresque, but the ever-impending tragedy makes that word not quite right for this book.”
—Susan Straight, author of A Million Nightingales
“A wonderful, rich read full of passion, history, wonder, and women you will recognize: Glorious is just that.”
—Jill Nelson, author of Volunteer Slavery and Let’s Get It On
“The seeming inevitability of cruel fate juxtaposes the triumph of the spirit in this remarkably rich and powerful novel. 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
Glorious was a finalist for the 2011 NAACP Image Award for Fiction
Read Bernice L. McFadden’s contribution to “My Caribbean – 5 Vignettes,” which appeared in the November 10, 2013 issue of the New York Times.
Glorious is set against the backdrops of the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Civil Rights era. Blending fact and fiction, Glorious is the story of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose tumultuous path to success, ruin, and ultimately revival offers a candid and true portrait of the American experience in all its beauty and cruelty.
It is a novel informed by the question that is the title of Langston Hughes’s famous poem: What happens to a dream deferred? Based on years of research, this heart-wrenching fictional account is given added resonance by factual events coupled with real and imagined larger-than-life characters. Glorious is an audacious exploration into the nature of self-hatred, love, possession, ego, betrayal, and, finally, redemption.
- Subjects: Black Interest, Literary Fiction, Women’s Studies
- Tags: Bernice L. McFadden, Harlem Renaissance, historical fiction, Zora Neale Hurston