The novel 1894 novel A Kentucky Cardinal was an immediate hit and helped to establish not only the literary reputation of its author, James Lane Allen, but also the "local color" movement in American literature, which sought to document and delve into the peculiarities and unique attributes of regional cultures. Aftermath is the sequel to A Kentucky Cardinal and picks up where the previous tale left off.
James Lane Allen (December 21, 1849 – February 18, 1925) was an American novelist and short story writer whose work, including the novel A Kentucky Cardinal, often depicted the culture and dialects of his native Kentucky. His work is characteristic of the late-19th century local color era, when writers sought to capture the vernacular in their fiction. Allen has been described as "Kentucky's first important novelist."
In 1893 Allen moved to New York City, where he lived until his death. He was a contributor to Harper's Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, and other popular magazines of the time. His novels include The Choir Invisible, which was a very popular best seller in 1897.