> Skip to content

Wallace Thurman

Book for an event

Wallace Thurman (1902-1934) was a novelist, essayist, editor and playwright of the Harlem Renaissance. In addition to The Blacker the Berry he wrote two other novels, Infants of Spring and Inverne and a play, Harlem. He founded the magazines Outlet, Fire!! and The Looking Glass and edited numerous other publications

Books by Wallace Thurman

The Blacker the Berry

A beautifully designed series that pays homage to the essential books of the most important and revolutionary Black arts movements in modern history.

Read more
The Blacker the Berry . . .

Emma Lou Morgan's skin is black--"too black," as the narrator writes in the beginning of The Blacker of the Berry. Tired of the scorn and contempt of her classmates, teachers, friends, and even family, she leaves her hometown of Boise, Idaho, traveling first to Los Angeles and then to Harlem, New York in search of a community to which she can belong. In Harlem, Emma Lou finds an exciting, vibrant scene of nightclubs and dance halls and parties and love affairs... but there's no escaping the shame she feels about the darkness of her skin.

Written by an overlooked author of the Harlem Renaissance, who was described by Langston Hughes as "a strangely brilliant black boy, who had read everything, and whose critical mind could find something wrong with everything he read," The Blacker the Berry is a vivid and disturbing portrait of a young woman who has been rejected by her own race, and a still-relevant reflection on the role that skin color plays in American society.

For more than seventy-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 2,000 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.

Read more