Bernice McFadden

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My Novels

Glorious is set against the backdrops of the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights era. Blending the truth of American history with the fruits of Bernice L. McFadden's rich imagination, this is the story of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose tumultuous path to success, ruin, and revival offers a candid portrait of the American experience in all its beauty and cruelty. 

Advanced Praise for Glorious:

"The seeming inevitability of cruel fate juxtaposes the triumph of the spirit in this remarkably rich and powerful novel, Glorious. Bernice McFadden's fully realized characters are complicated, imperfect beings, but if ever a character were worthy of love and honor, it is her Easter Bartlett. This very American story is fascinating; it is also heartbreaking, thought-provoking, and beautifully written."-Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of The Scenic Route

"Intense and sweeping" - Susan Straight, A Million Nightingale's

A wonderful rich read full of passion, history, wonder and women you will recognize: Glorious is just that." - Jill Nelson author of Sexual Healing and Let's Do it Again

The 10th Anniversary Edition of SUGAR is now available!

"Bernice L. McFadden's first novel begins with the brief, poetic description of a crime so startling that the reader is helplessly drawn in, as if a bright red door stood ajar on a bleak and forbidding house. Pearl Taylor's daughter, Jude, has been found murdered and mutilated near a field at the edge of town. "The murder had white man written all over it," writes McFadden. "But no one would say it above a whisper. It was 1940. It was Bigelow, Arkansas. It was a black child. Need any more be said?" In the years that follow, Pearl catches sight of Jude in so many strangers that when Sugar Lacey comes to town and sets up her unwholesome "business" in the house next door, she doesn't know whether to believe what she sees in Sugar's face: a striking similarity to Jude, dead 15 years. In her sedate but supple prose--rising at times to a light, unforced lyricism in the description of landscape or character--the author perfectly renders the closed and protective society of a small Southern town, the superstitions, gossip, and prying."

Praise for the novels of Bernice L. McFadden:

"Searing and expertly imagined." - Toni Morrison

“Bernice L. McFadden is a master storyteller.” Adriana Trigiana

"Vivid." - The New York Times

"Eloquent..." (McFadden) is a talent worth watching." - The Washington Post

This Bitter Earth (the sequel to SUGAR)

This Bitter Earth picks up where Sugar left off-on the dirt road leading to Sugar's childhood home in Short Junction, Arkansas. Here, Sugar hears a shocking revelation about unrequited love, and about one man's hatred-and the black magic that has cursed generations. Her travels take Sugar to St. Louis, where the bonds of an old friendship test the limits of her courage and compassion-and the sacrifices she will make for another young woman in desperate need of a caring friend.

Filled with the lyrical language, haunting imagery, and compelling voice that imbued Sugar with its power and grace, This Bitter Earth is a novel about the inexorable power the past exerts over us and our ability to triumph over adversity and sorrow. Earthy and richly evocative, it is a testament to the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

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Bernice McFadden's Blog

The "Break-Through" that came disguised as a "Break-Down"

This past October I suffered what my doctor described as a “break-down.” I was returning from a thirty minute walk, my mind a whirlwind of what I had to get done on that day, the remainder of the year and the rest of my life – when suddenly I became over-heated, my heart began to race, my stomach soured, my legs turned to jelly and I truly believed that I was having a massive heart attack. I thought about my daughter, my mother and siblings and how sad it would be to receive a call from a… Continue

Posted on December 29, 2009 at 12:14pm

The First Time I was Called The "N" Word..

...... by a white person I was ten years old and strolling down Rockaway Boulevard (Queens) with my seven-year-old brother in tow.

Back then South Ozone Park was made up of mostly Italians who were fiercely trying to protect their bedroom community from the onslaught of AF-AM’s who were escaping the tenement houses of Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx and pouring into their community in droves.

On that day, I was headed to my grandparent’s home. They lived (my grandmother… Continue

Posted on December 4, 2009 at 7:19pm — 2 Comments


I went to see Precious (based on the NYTimes Bestselling novel PUSH) on Sunday. I read the book during the summer and so was completely prepared for the violence, the tears, the love and the ultimate message.

Director Lee Daniels did a wonderful job of transferring the story onto the big screen. I appreciated the “light-heartedness” he interjected here and there. Those moments allowed me a moment to unclench my jaw and unball my allowed me to come up for air.

I… Continue

Posted on November 17, 2009 at 1:31pm — 1 Comment

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At 3:16am on April 22, 2011, Body by Vi said…
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At 7:50pm on June 17, 2010, Linda of Zosimos Botanicals said…
I cannot say enough how much I admire your writing. After learning of you here, I started at the beginning with "Sugar" and was mesmerized. Am savoring it and about to delve into "The Bitter Earth". Thank you for reaching out to those of us who discover your body of work and are all the better for it. Peace~
At 4:57pm on May 16, 2010, Dawn said…

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At 7:52pm on May 2, 2010, HealthyWealthyDiva said…

At 10:52pm on April 9, 2010, Embrace by Ms. M said…
Hi Bernice, Have a fabulous weekend and stay blessed! Marie

"It’s Crunch Time!”, This is a new children’s book by Marie Brewer. Find it on & ( for excerpts and a link to book) This is my book of muscle for boys (ages 9-12) to point them in the direction of HOPE!...This is an interactive book where they can write about their feelings. It discusses acceptable behavior, honesty, good self-image, respect for females and animals, appreciation for teachers/school, choosing good friends. The book also talks about resisting gangs, guns, drugs, violence, alcohol and bad influences. Let's attack the behavior, not the boy. "It's Crunch Time!" , $10.95 , by Marie Brewer, or Be a part of the village to help our boys envision their true God-given purpose!
We can turn this thing around! SEE! THINK ! ACT!
Heaven gives us hope! Marie Brewer

At 6:47am on April 7, 2010, The Dedicated PR said…
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At 11:12pm on March 1, 2010, Tonyz Girl said…
Hello my sister.
I'm currently reading your book "Nowhere is a Place". All I can say is....WOW!
This story is so rich. As I read each sentence, I feel as though I'm living every moment right along with the characters in the book. You've painted such a vivid picture.
For the past week, I've been riding along in the car...I mean SUV (smile), with Sherry and Dumpling. It's been an amazing journey so far.

I've also read Sugar, Camilla's Roses, This Bitter Earth and Loving Donovan.
You're an amazing writer. I can't wait to read your new novel.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift with the world.

God Bless!
At 12:05am on February 24, 2010, Mz. Grown N Sexz Ceo said…
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Image and video hosting by TinyPic
At 1:48pm on February 22, 2010, UZIMA CHUBA said…
i'm about to read your book sugar for my book club inmarch for woman month. so thx you for. telling about your book i'm a reader. and love to read.
At 6:18pm on February 4, 2010, Simeon Henderson said…

I'm new to iseecolor and wanted to introduce myself,

My name is Simeon Henderson and I am a Actor, Producer, and Internet Radio Show Host. I am trying to spread the word about my Movies and Talk Show called "The Simeon Henderson Show". I would like to invite you to visit my webSite so you can checkout my Videos and Movie Trailers, and find out about my upcoming Talk Shows and projects please feel free to invite your friends and family members to visit the site. If i'm not already your friend please add me.

Link to my site:

Thank You very much for your friendship and support.

Have a Blessed Day,
Simeon Henderson


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