Plum Bun: A Novel Without a Moral is a novel by Jessie Redmon Fauset first published in 1928. Written by an African American woman who, during the 1920s, was for many years the literary editor of The Crisis, it is often seen as an important contribution to the movement that has come to be known as the Harlem Renaissance. I discovered this from an article by Morgan Jenkins in the New Yorker. “Initially, Fauset’s work was dismissed as sentimental and Victorian, primarily because she dealt with ‘women’s issues,’ centering on the marriage plot,” Cherene Sherrard-Johnson, a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, said. Fauset’s second novel, “Plum Bun,” is probably her best, and it received the most attention when it was published, with reviews in The New Republic, the New York Times, and Saturday Review. Overtly conventional through its employment of elements and techniques of traditional genres such as the romance or the fairy tale, Plum Bun at the same time transgresses these genres by its depiction, and critique, of racism, sexism, and capitalism. The heroine, a young, light-skinned African American woman called Angela Murray, leaves behind her past and passes for white in order to be able to attain fulfilment in life. Only after she has lived among white Americans does she find out that crossing the racial barrier is not enough for a woman like herself to realize her full potential. The detailed description of her coming of age makes Plum Bun a classic Bildungsroman. Angela must come to grips with her colored and white racial heritage, as well as with her femininity (stereotypically seen as sweetness), before she achieves psychological wholeness. Although African-American women were typed in popular song as “a little brown sugar" or a “jellyroll,” Angela had to cease thinking of herself as a purveyor of feminine sweetness for sale, and instead step into new roles with inherent value.