Download Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance Audiobook

Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance Audiobook, by Carla Kaplan Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Carla Kaplan Narrator: Liisa Ivary Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2014 ISBN: 9780062347565
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New York City in the Jazz Age was host to a pulsating artistic and social revolution. Uptown, an unprecedented explosion in black music, literature, dance, and art sparked the Harlem Renaissance. While the history of this African-American awakening has been widely explored, one chapter remains untold: the story of a group of women collectively dubbed "Miss Anne."

Sexualized and sensationalized in the mainstream press—portrayed as monstrous or insane—Miss Anne was sometimes derided within her chosen community of Harlem as well. While it was socially acceptable for white men to head uptown for "exotic" dancers and "hot" jazz, white women who were enthralled by life on West 125th Street took chances. Miss Anne in Harlem introduces these women—many from New York's wealthiest social echelons—who became patrons of, and romantic participants in, the Harlem Renaissance. They include Barnard College founder Annie Nathan Meyer, Texas heiress Josephine Cogdell Schuyler, British activist Nancy Cunard, philanthropist Charlotte Osgood Mason, educator Lillian E. Wood, and novelist Fannie Hurst—all women of accomplishment and renown in their day. Yet their contributions as hostesses, editors, activists, patrons, writers, friends, and lovers often went unacknowledged and have been lost to history until now.

In a vibrant blend of social history and biography, award-winning writer Carla Kaplan offers a joint portrait of six iconoclastic women who risked ostracism to follow their inclinations—and raised hot-button issues of race, gender, class, and sexuality in the bargain. Returning Miss Anne to her rightful place in the interracial history of the Harlem Renaissance, Kaplan's formidable work remaps the landscape of the 1920s, alters our perception of this historical moment, and brings Miss Anne to vivid life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Endlessly fascinating, Miss Anne in Harlem reveals a whole new perspective on the Harlem Renaissance, and Carla Kaplan delivers an essential and absorbing portrait of race and sex in twentieth-century America.”

    Gilbert King, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Devil in the Grove

  • “The fact that white women played a pivotal role in creating the Harlem Renaissance was a secret hiding in plain sight, but it took Carla Kaplan’s keen eye, rigorous research, and crystal clear prose to reveal it. A surprising, delightful book.”

    Debby Applegate, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

  • “Carla Kaplan has taken on a dauntingly liminal topic and by force of scholarly rigor and narrative compassion rendered it central to our understanding of an era. Lush, original, and vigorously argued.”

    Diane McWhorter, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

  • “In this remarkable work of historical recovery…[Kaplan] resurrects Miss Anne as a cultural figure and explores the messy contradictions of her life…Deeply researched.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Professor Kaplan, a biographer of the writer Zora Neale Hurston, captivatingly illuminates and places in overdue perspective.”

    New York Times

  • “[A] richly researched, thoughtful new book.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Intriguing.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Kaplan always writes from inside her characters and with a novelist’s sense of scope—and compassion.”

    New Yorker

  • “[Kaplan’s] extensive research has given life to a critical period in black American history—and given credit to the white women who, for various reasons, helped the Harlem Renaissance flourish.”


  • “[A] revelatory book…Aside from its significance as cultural history, Miss Anne in Harlem is packed with amazing life stories.”

    NPR's Fresh Air

  • “Carla Kaplan has given us and history a great gift.”

    New York Journal of Books

  • “In her clear-sighted, empathetic assessment of a half-dozen of these women, Carla Kaplan casts a fresh eye over people and relationships too often reduced to stereotypes.”

    Daily Beast

  • “An empathetic and skillful writer, Kaplan…shares the previously untold story of a group of notable white women who embraced black culture—and life—in Harlem in the 1920s and ’30s…Captivating.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Kaplan’s meticulously documented and intrepid history of Miss Anne encompasses a unique vantage on the complexities of race and gender and a dramatic study in paradox.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A work of meticulous and far-ranging scholarship, Miss Anne in Harlem matches its characters’ shocking and subversive lives with explosive revelations and subtle insights…Kaplan’s haunting narrative forces a rethinking of race and gender.”

    Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize finalist

  • “With superb, exhaustive research and finely dramatic writing, Carla Kaplan’s brilliant Miss Anne in Harlem fills an aching void in our knowledge of the Harlem Renaissance. It also significantly deepens our understanding of American culture in the 1920s and American feminism in general.”

    Arnold Rampersad, Pulitzer Prize finalist

  • “[An] utterly fascinating and deeply insightful account…This fine book takes the Misses Anne seriously and goes further, to reveal the workings of interracial networks in one of the most important cultural phenomena in American history.”

    Nell Irvin Painter, author of The History of White People

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About the Author

Carla Kaplan is an award-winning professor and writer who holds the Stanton W. and Elisabeth K. Davis Distinguished Professorship in American Literature at Northeastern University, and she has also taught at the University of Southern California and Yale. Kaplan is the author of The Erotics of Talk and Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters, as well as the editor of Dark Symphony, and Other Works by Elizabeth Laura Adams, Every Tongue Got to Confess by Zora Neale Hurston, and Passing by Nella Larsen. A recipient of a Guggenheim and many other fellowships, Kaplan has been a fellow in residence at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute, among other research centers.