Wednesday, September 2, 2020

the last book I ever read (Amiable with Big Teeth by Claude McKay, excerpt three)

from Amiable with Big Teeth by Claude McKay:

Seraphine did not possess the beautiful regular features of her mother. But she was an arresting type with an extraordinary personality. Her father was a reddish person and so covered with freckles, he looked like a cinnamon sandwich. He had been nicknamed “Red” at college. Seraphine’s skin was so fair that her appearance was suggestive of an albino. She had inherited her father’s hair, which was a coarse dark-dull red. Her eyes were strange, the right one slightly bluish and the other of a chameleonlike yellowish tint. She was slender but taller than her mother.

In training Seraphine her mother had put a great deal of emphasis upon her making a competent hostess. She pushed her into the company of older people and to converse with them. Above all Mrs. Peixota impressed upon Seraphine’s mind the value of being always in the company of persons who were outstanding to some line and bolstered by an economic asset, a business or a decent job. And so even when she was in high school, Seraphine was always seen at affairs with people older than herself. She was often escorted to parties and dances by doctors or lawyers or other persons of prominence. She never gave much thought to the youngsters of her own age and so was not popular among the younger set. They often referred to her as black Peixota’s white daughter.

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