Angel of Harlem (audio book)


Author: Haulsey, Kuwana
Title: Angel of Harlem
Genre: Historical fiction, African-American, audio book,
Women’s lives and relationships
Publication Date: 2004
Number of Pages: 368 p.
Geographical Setting:
Harlem, New York City
Time Period: 1900-1930
Series: None

Plot Summary: Angel of Harlem is a novel based the remarkable and groundbreaking life of Dr. May Edward Chinn, the first African-American doctor in New York. The author presents the story from May’s point of view, with a brief, third-person flashback that recounts her father’s dramatic and tragic flight from slavery during the Civil War. May’s own story unwinds at a leisurely pace and is told in deeply lyrical prose that paints a detailed and colorful portrait of the characters and the city and era in which they live, giving great attention to Harlem in the 1920s. Starting with her poverty-stricken childhood, early schooling, and battle with chronic illness, the novel ambles toward its true source—May’s late teen years and young adulthood, during which time she trains as a professional musician but ultimately changes directions into a career in science that eventually leads her to medicine. Throughout the story, May and her family and friends face prejudice and racism, and May often finds herself additionally challenged by sexism from white and black alike. Over the course of the story the reader also encounters, through May’s friendships, many important and influential figures of the Harlem Renaissance, including Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston. Angel of Harlem is an inspirational lesson in perseverance, dedication, self-determination, and love of self, family, and community.

This title was presented as an audio book narrated by Brenda Pressley. The audio book is available on 9 CDs with tracks of approximately three minutes in length.

Subject Headings: Chinn, May Edward, 1896-1980; African-American women physicians; women physicians; self-sacrifice in women; self-sacrifice in mothers; teenage pregnancy; determination in women; African-American role models; music; prejudice; racism; sexism; grief in women; cancer – research; African-American father and daughter; African-American mother and daughter; alcoholism; slavery; the Twenties (20th century); medicine; African-American fiction — 21st century; biographical novels

Appeal: bittersweet, character-centered, contemplative, densely written, detailed setting, details of 1920s Harlem; details of medical training and practice, dramatic, elaborate language, elegant language, engaging characters, faithful characterization, family-centered, flashbacks, graceful style, heartwarming, historical details, hopeful, insightful, intimate, introspective, issue-oriented, historical figures, leisurely-paced, literary, literary references, lyrical style, metaphorical language, optimistic, political, resolved ending, sympathetic characters, thoughtful, thought-provoking, unhurried, urban, vivid language, well-developed characters

Similar Fiction Authors and Works:

Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

  • The Harlem Renaissance: Hub of African-American Culture, 1920-1930. Watson, Steven. 1995. (illustrated history of the Harlem Renaissance, profiles of prominent Harlem Renaissance writers featured in Angel of Harlem)
  • The Hellfighters of Harlem: African-American Soldiers Who Fought for the Right to Fight for Their Country. Bill Harris. 2002. (History of the famous African-American regiment that fought in WWI, in which a secondary character from Angel of Harlem served)
  • Paul Robeson. Martin Bauml Duberman. 1988. (Biography of African-American scholar, activist, singer, actor, athlete, Paul Robeson, a secondary character in Angel of Harlem)

Name: Cynthia

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: