Read The Life of Langston Hughes: Volume I: 1902-1941, I, Too, Sing America by Arnold Rampersad Online

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February 1, 2002 marks the 100th birthday of Langston Hughes. To commemorate the centennial of his birth, Arnold Rampersad has contributed new Afterwords to both volumes of his highly-praised biography of this most extraordinary and prolific American writer. In young adulthood Hughes possessed a nomadic but dedicated spirit that led him from Mexico to Africa and the SovietFebruary 1, 2002 marks the 100th birthday of Langston Hughes. To commemorate the centennial of his birth, Arnold Rampersad has contributed new Afterwords to both volumes of his highly-praised biography of this most extraordinary and prolific American writer. In young adulthood Hughes possessed a nomadic but dedicated spirit that led him from Mexico to Africa and the Soviet Union to Japan, and countless other stops around the globe. Associating with political activists, patrons, and fellow artists, and drawing inspiration from both Walt Whitman and the vibrant Afro-American culture, Hughes soon became the most original and revered of black poets. In the first volume's Afterword, Rampersad looks back at the significant early works Hughes produced, the genres he explored, and offers a new perspective on Hughes's lasting literary influence. Exhaustively researched in archival collections throughout the country, especially in the Langston Hughes papers at Yale University's Beinecke Library, and featuring fifty illustrations per volume, this anniversary edition will offer a new generation of readers entrance to the life and mind of one of the twentieth century's greatest artists....

Title : The Life of Langston Hughes: Volume I: 1902-1941, I, Too, Sing America
Author :
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ISBN : 9780195146424
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 528 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Life of Langston Hughes: Volume I: 1902-1941, I, Too, Sing America Reviews

  • Brian Willis
    2019-05-12 11:04

    Clearly the definitive biography of Hughes, it also stands as an adequate overview of his intersections with other African American literati in the first four decades of the twentieth century. It follows Hughes's earlier years of experimentation with poetical form as blues and jazz in rhythm and rhyme through his politicization in the 1930s, a time when Hughes felt he was too anodyne and wasn't saying enough about the plight of the African American in US society. He dabbled with socialism and communism and even made trips to the Soviet Union and Civil War Spain. He met and socialized with Nora Zeale Hurston and Richard Hughes and was a vibrant part of the Harlem Renaissance. Some parts of the biography are more fascinating than others, especially when Rampersad gets out of factual name checking and analyzes relationships and influences. His first patroness for instance was an absolute nutcase. Hughes himself is rather a blank slate personally, as his romantic life was obscured by lack of definitive personal records. Some have even speculated that he was homosexual, although Rampersad convinced me that he was rather asexual and reserved rather than a cad of any type. Sympathetic to a large degree, I look forward to reading the second volume to see how Hughes reacted to the civil rights movement.

  • Judaye
    2019-05-15 13:13

    I learned that research can be used as a blessing and a way of connecting readers to life sustaining knowledge. Thank you Professor Rampersad for writing this book! Now I know what a great American Langston Hughes was and the amount of influence he had over other writers such as Alice Walker, Ralph Ellison, and Arna Botemps. Hughes was a world traveler and radical activist in addition to being a innovative writer of poems, plays, and fiction. I cannot wait to read Volume II.

  • Paul Wilner
    2019-04-24 16:26

    Amazing. Deeply reported and well written. Magisterial. I hope to be writing more about Hughes and this book soon, and if so I will post the link here.

  • Thomas Walsh
    2019-04-22 08:20

    When we study literature, we are exposed to the Harlem Renaissance. We read the stories, the novels and the poems, linger over them, realize the bigotry around them and feel sorry for the insight. Then, we forget everything, and all the richness of their world is lost to TS Eliot and British Literature or the mysteries of Faulkner and American Modern Literature. This is true, especially is we are not African American. "Yes, it's good, but I have to move on to something else." However, if you are African American and were exposed to the Harlem Renaissance, I can see where is would become part of one's heart, part of one's skin, part of one's blood. In the case of Hughes, his delicacy and his unique outlook to the foreign world of white America in the 30s and 40s, the images and lines should never leave our consciousness. This kind of bio brings it all back and the thoroughness of the research stamps (or re-stamps) his work and his tender lyrical poems deep into our modern lives. There is a Volume Two, but,like hearty, spicy food, I like the way this volume rests on my literary tongue.

  • James
    2019-04-22 11:17

    This is the third Rampersad biography that I have read and I am a fan of his careful style as a biographer, though the psychoanalysis did take some getting used to in the beginning. I love biographies that show the joys, rewards and struggles of the life of the mind for intellectuals and writers. Makes me keenly aware of what I love about reading and writing, but also of the gifts that I do not have.

  • Shavone
    2019-05-07 08:04

    Hughes' version of his life, though perhaps less linear and not quite as factual as Rampersad's, is infinitely more interesting. There's also a clear homophobic streak in this book that's beyond troubling.

  • Adriana
    2019-05-20 09:23

    This is the first time Hughes' private papers have been open for review, so this book is an exhaustive, meticulously detailed account of Hughes' life. May be perfect for scholars, but not the average reader. Could have used more synthesis and analysis.

  • Javon
    2019-05-08 11:23

    This is one of the best biographies that I ever read. I learned about the life of Langston Hughes . This book is very well written. I strongly recommend this book.

  • Shawn
    2019-05-17 08:57

    My first love, Langston Hughes, what a life, brilliant man.

  • Kennet Brown
    2019-04-22 10:16

    A great book

  • Waheedah Bilal
    2019-04-26 13:21

    This is a fine literary biography for serious students of Hughes's work and life. You will not be dissatisfied; it is thoroughly researched and well-written.

  • Ivy Pittman
    2019-05-17 13:04

    The best biography I've ever read.