"Alien Land" is the passionate and haunting story of a light-skinned black man who can pass as white in mid-twentieth-century America. As a spiritually tormented child and young adult caught between two worlds in a segregated society, Kern Roberts puzzles over racism and agonizes over "why he's a nigger." As a teenager studying at the exclusive Evans Academy in Vermont, Kern "passes" until a classmate maliciously exposes him. Anguished and resentful, he throws himself into working for the Freedom League in Washington, D.C., the civil rights organization of which his father, a prominent black attorney, is national president. In 1934 Kern starts college in an "alien land," the Jim Crow South. Exposed to horrifying racially motivated crimes, prejudice, and contempt, Kern necessarily plays the submissive "nigger" until, terrorized, he renounces his race and his father, returning to Vermont to live as a white man with his white grandmother. Ultimately he comes to terms with his biracial identity, finds peace in his marriage to a white woman, and reconciles with his father. Robert Burns Stepto's keen introduction firmly situates "Alien Land" in the line of African American novels that treat the issue of identity through the motif of passing. Originally published in cloth in 1949 to national acclaim, the full text of this remarkable novel is finally available in paperback.
Publisher: Northeastern University Press
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 203 x 140 x 24 mm
Edition: New edition
You may also be interested in...
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect. Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at