The author of numerous bestselling novels, a masterful short story writer, and an outspoken social activist, Fannie Hurst was a major celebrity in the first half of the twentieth century. Daniel Itzkovitz’s introduction situates Imitation of Life in its literary, biographical, and cultural contexts, addressing such topics as the debates over the novel and films, the role of Hurst’s one-time secretary and great friend Zora Neale Hurston in the novel’s development, and the response to the novel by Hurst’s friend Langston Hughes, whose one-act satire, “Limitations of Life” (which reverses the races of Bea and Delilah), played to a raucous Harlem crowd in the late 1930s. This edition brings a classic of popular American literature back into print.
When “fly girl” and gorgeous socialite Ray Schmidt first meets Walter Saxel in Cincinnati, their attraction is instant and everlasting. As their bond deepens, Ray finds herself envisioning a future with Walter, until one fateful day when the settling of her family affairs interferes with their plans to meet, and his relationship with another woman forms. Though years pass and Ray manages to carve out a life for herself in New York City, Walter remains in her memory, and a chance run-in with him leads them both to fall into their former ways. What unfolds is the fascinating tale of what life was for selfless, devoted Ray, a prisoner to her love for the one man who would never fully love her back.
Originally published in 1931, this bestselling classic novel about the heartbreak of living along the “back streets” of a man’s life was adapted into film three times.
With a new foreword by Cari Beauchamp.
Vintage Movie Classics spotlights classic films that have stood the test of time, now rediscovered through the publication of the novels on which they were based.