Profile of Jessie Fauset
Jessie Redmon Fauset was an African-American editor and novelist of the 1920s, called by poet Langston Hughes “the midwife of the Harlem Renaissance.”
From a prosperous family, Fauset attended high school in Philadelphia and was a 1909 graduate of Cornell University.
From 1919 to 1926, Jessie Fauset was the literary editor for The Crisis, a New York journal held in high regard as a forum for African American writers.
Between 1924 and 1933, she published four novels of her own: There is Confusion (1924), Plum Bun (1928), The Chinaberry Tree (1931) and Comedy: American Style (1933). Fauset wrote about middle-class blacks, especially women, but her novels were not in the modernist style of the times and have been largely forgotten.
After her stint in New York, Fauset spent the rest of her career as a high school teacher in Washington, D.C., earning a graduate degree in French in 1929 from the University of Pennsylvania. Around the same time, she got married, at the age of 47.
Fauset retired from teaching in 1944 and died in 1961, having outlived her husband by three years.
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