American Local Color Writing, 1880-1920

American Local Color Writing, 1880-1920

Written by:
Edited by:
Edited by: Valerie Rohy

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140436884
  • 480 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


The era in the United States between the Civil War and the end of World War I, was marked by increased nation-building, immigration, internal migration and racial tension. This period of time saw the rise of local colour literature, which described the peculiarities of regional life through “lived experiences.” This anthology brings together works from every part of America, written by men and women of many cultures, ethnicities, ideologies and literary styles. The book features such familiar writers as Joel Chandler Harris, Kate Chopin, Hamlin Garland and Sarah Orne Jewett, and introduces less well-known voices like Sui Sin Far, Abraham Cahan and Zitkala-Sa. The writings illuminate varying concepts of the American identity and racial, class and ethnic stereotypes are both introduced and challenged in many of of the stories.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Table of Contents

Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Elizabeth Ammons and Valerie Rohy



Joel Chandler Harris
From Nights with Uncle Remus (1883)

Charles Chesnutt
“Dave’s Neckliss” (1899)
“The Sheriff’s Children” (1899)

Alice Dunbar-Nelson
“The Praline Woman” (1899)
“The Stones of the Village” (1910-1920)

Kate Chopin
“The Story of an Hour” (1894)
“The Storm” (1898)

Mary Noailles Murfee
“The Dancin’ Party at Harrison’s Cove” (1878)MIDWEST

Gertrude Dorsey Brown[e]
“Scrambled Eggs” (1905)
“The Voice of the Rich Pudding” (1907)

Hamlin Garland
“Up the Coolly” (1893)

Mary Hartwell Catherwood
“Pontiac’s Lookout” (1894)

Alexander Lawrence Posey
From “The Fus Fixico Letters” (1903-1905)

Finley Peter Dunne
From Mr. Dooley in Peace and War (1896)

Sherwood Anderson
“Hands” (1919)


Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
“A New England Nun” (1891)

Sarah Orne Jewett
“The Queen’s Twin” (1899)
“The Foreigner” (1900)

Abraham Cahan
“The Apostate of Chego-Chegg” (1899)

Pauline Hopkins
“Talma Gordon” (1900)
“Bro’r Abr’m Jimson’s Wedding” (1901)

W.E.B. DuBois
“On Being Crazy” (1907)WEST

Bret Harte
“An Ingénue of the Sierras” (1893)

Sui Sin Far [Edith Eaton]
“Its Wavering Image” (1912)
“The Wisdom of the New” (1912)

Jack London
“In a Far Country” (1899)
“To the Man on Trail” (1899)

Mary Austin
“The Land of Little Rain” (1903)

Zitkala-Sa [Gertrude Simmons Bonnin]
“The Soft-Hearted Sioux” (1901)
“Iktomi and the Ducks” (1901)

Maria Cristina Mena
“The Vine-Leaf” (1914)

Explanatory Notes