The Book of Harlan Summary
Bernice L. McFadden

Everything you need to understand or teach The Book of Harlan by Bernice L. McFadden.

  • The Book of Harlan Summary & Study Guide

The Book of Harlan Overview

Bernice L. McFadden's The Book of Harlan is a work of historical fiction set in the early 1900's in which McFadden bases the life of her main character on the life of her own grandfather. The novel captures the life of Harlan Elliott and the many musicians who shaped Harlan’s career. Harlan discovered the excitement of the Jazz and Blues scene in Harlem. He learned the guitar and began playing in the clubs. Harlan settled into a life playing music, drinking alcohol, smoking weed and loving women. The highlight of his music career was the invitation to perform in the nightclubs of Paris, France. Harlan loved the nights of continuous partying until he and his best friend, Lizard, were confronted by a group of Nazi soldiers altering the course of his life forever.

Study Pack

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