Andrews, William L. “Charles Waddell Chesnutt: An Essay in Bibliography.” Resources for American Literary Studies 6 (Spring, 1976): 3-22. A valuable guide to materials concerning Chesnutt.
Andrews, William L. The Literary Career of Charles W. Chesnutt. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1980. A good, full-length study of the full range of Chesnutt’s writings.
Chesnutt, Charles Waddell.“To Be an Author”: Letters of Charles W. Chesnutt, 1889-1905. Edited by Joseph R. McElrath, Jr., and Robert C. Leitz III. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1997. Collection of letters is organized into sections in a manner particularly useful to students of Chestnutt’s fiction and his career development: “Cable’s Protégé in 1889-1891,” “A Dream Deferred, 1891-1896,” “Page’s Protégé in 1897-1899,” “The Professional Novelist of 1899-1902,” “Discontent in 1903-1904,” “The Quest Renewed, 1904-1905.” Includes an informative introduction and a detailed index.
Delma, P. Jay. “The Mask as Theme and Structure: Charles W. Chesnutt’s ‘The Sheriff’s Children’ and ‘The Passing of Grandison.’” American Literature 51 (1979): 364-375. Argues that the story exploits the theme of the mask: the need to hide one’s true personality and racial identity from self and others. Delma argues that because Chesnutt uses the mask theme, the story is not a run-of-the-mill treatment of the long-lost-son plot.
Duncan, Charles. The Absent Man: The Narrative Craft of Charles W. Chesnutt. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1998. This informative volume includes bibliographical references and an index.
Filetti, Jean. “The Goophered Grapevine.” Explicator 48 (Spring, 1990): 201-203. Discusses the use of master-slave relationships within the context of storytelling and explains how Chesnutt’s “The Goophered Grapevine” relates to this tradition. Indicates that one of Chesnutt’s concerns was inhumanity among people, but the story is told from a humorous perspective with the newly freed slave outwitting the white capitalist.
Gayle, Addison. The Way of the New World: The Black Novel in America. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press, 1975. Examines Chesnutt’s literary and historical significance as one of the first black American novelists.
Gleason, William. “Chesnutt’s Piazza Tales: Architecture, Race, and Memory in the Conjure Stories.” American Quarterly 51 (March, 1999): 33-77. Argues that in the second phase of the...