Nearly lost after its anonymous publication in 1926 and only recently rediscovered, When Washington Was in Vogue is an acclaimed love story written and set during the Harlem Renaissance. When bobbed-hair flappers were in vogue and Harlem was hopping, Washington, D.C., did its share of roaring, too.
Davy Carr, a veteran of the Great War and a new arrival in the nation's capital, is welcomed into the drawing rooms of the city's Black elite. Through letters, Davy regales an old friend in Harlem with his impressions of race, politics, and the state of Black America as well as his own experiences as an old-fashioned bachelor adrift in a world of alluring modern women.
With an introduction by Adam McKible and commentary by Emily Bernard, this novel, a timeless love story wonderfully enriched with the drama and style of one of the most hopeful moments in African American history, is as "delightful as it is significant" (Essence).
Edward Christopher Williams was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1871. He was schooled at Western Reserve University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa and valedictorian, and at the New York State Library School. Williams is documented as the first Black American to graduate from a library school. He was a notable scholar, a brilliant teacher, and a pivotal developer of education for librarians. He was married to Ethel Chesnutt, the daughter of Charles W. Chesnutt, author of the seminal novel The House Behind the Cedars. Williams died of a sudden illness in Washington, D.C., in 1929 at the age of fifty-eight.
“When Washington Was in Vogue brings this time and place vividly to life…. Great Gatsby with a happier ending.” — Wall Street Journal
“When Washignton Was in Vogue brims with life.” — Boston Globe
“As delightful as it is significant.” — Essence
“An engaging, eminently readable work.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“Richly rewarding.” — --Honey
“McKible’s discovery is sure to provoke scholarship and discussion, and attract well-deserved attention.” — Publishers Weekly
“A love story . . . rendered with the keen eye of a sociologist.” — Booklist
“Charming . . . a sincerely delightful book.” — Library Journal
“Dramatic frisson for historians and Black studies scholars.” — Kirkus Reviews
“When Washington Was in Vogue offers a welcome and consistently entertaining glimpse of a pivotal era in our recent past.” — --The Crisis
“An engaging and vibrant peek into a world known to exist, yet rarely presented with such vivid and unapologetic detail.” — Brian Keith Jackson, author of The Queen of Harlem
“An absolutely fascinating novel. . . . A page-turner, witty and charming.” — ----Elizabeth Nunez, author of Bruised Hibiscus and Discretion
“Fascinating and complex . . . Williams’s lively and insightful account of Davy Carr enhances the African American canon.” — --Kathleen Pfeiffer, Associate Professor of English, Oakland University