2020 marks one hundred years since Christie’s debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was first published. As the inaugural Hercule Poirot mystery, the story was serialized in The Times (London) weekly edition from February to June 1920 and later published as a complete novel in the U.S. in October, 1920.
The book was written as the result of a challenge between Agatha and her older sister, who bet that Agatha couldn’t write a detective novel. While she was working in a dispensary during World War I, Agatha came up with the idea for the story using her knowledge of poisons. Read More→
Passing by Nella Larsen (1929) is one of the most iconic novels of the Harlem Renaissance era of the 1920s, the New York City-centered movement that celebrated the ascendence of black writers, artists, and performers.
As the daughter of a white Danish immigrant mother and a mixed-race father from the Danish West Indies, the theme of Nella Larsen’s life, and in effect, her work, was a sense of never belonging — not to any community, nor even to an immediate family.
Larsen was the first African-American woman to graduate from library school and to receive the Guggenheim Fellowship for creative writing.
Though her first novel, Quicksand (1928), contained more obviously autobiographical elements, Passing also reflected Larsen’s lifelong sense of alienation and search for identity. Read More→