The Uncalled by Paul Laurence Dunbar
The Uncalled (1898) is a novel by African American author Paul Laurence Dunbar. Published while Dunbar was at the height of his career as one of the nation's leading black poets, The Uncalled marked his debut as a novelist with a powerful vision of faith and perseverance who sought to capture and examine the diversity of the African American experience. When his mother dies, Freddie Brent-whose father is presumed dead-is officially orphaned. Although some members of the church community think it best to send him to the local orphanage, Miss Hester, an unmarried older woman, declares it her duty to provide for the boy. Having never raised a child before, however, she struggles to ascertain and fulfill Freddie's needs, focusing instead on her perception of his troubled upbringing and punishing the boy for his parents' supposed sinfulness. Freddie looks forward to visits from Eliphalet Hodges, Miss Hester's longtime suitor, who acts as a father figure and shows him kindness and respect. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Paul Laurence Dunbar's The Uncalled is a classic of African American literature reimagined for modern readers.