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Albert Murray: Collected Essays & Memoirs: The Omni-Americans / South to a Very Old Place / The Hero and the Blues / Stomping the Blues / The Blue Devils of Nada / From the Briarpatch File / Other Writings
     

Albert Murray: Collected Essays & Memoirs: The Omni-Americans / South to a Very Old Place / The Hero and the Blues / Stomping the Blues / The Blue Devils of Nada / From the Briarpatch File / Other Writings

by Albert Murray, Henry Gates (Editor), Paul Devlin (Editor)
 
In his 1970 classic The Omni-Americans, Albert Murray (1916–2013) took aim at protest writers and social scientists who accentuated the “pathology” of race in American life. Against narratives of marginalization and victimhood, Murray argued that black art and culture, particularly jazz and blues, stand at the

Overview

In his 1970 classic The Omni-Americans, Albert Murray (1916–2013) took aim at protest writers and social scientists who accentuated the “pathology” of race in American life. Against narratives of marginalization and victimhood, Murray argued that black art and culture, particularly jazz and blues, stand at the very headwaters of the American mainstream, and that much of what is best in American art embodies the “blues-hero tradition”— a heritage of grace, wit, and inspired improvisation in the face of adversity. Murray went on to refine these ideas in The Blue Devils of Nada and From the Briarpatch File, and all three landmark collections of essays are gathered here for the first time, together with Murray’s memoir South to a Very Old Place, his brilliant lecture series The Hero and the Blues, his masterpiece of jazz criticism Stomping the Blues, and eight previously uncollected pieces.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Dwight Garner
…[Murray] captured, as well as any writer who's ever lived, the sweetness, intelligence and grace in both [jazz and the blues]. Murray's best nonfiction has been gathered in a plump and welcome volume…a big book—more than 1,000 pages—that feels intimate…This book gives us Murray in full. His intellectual interests ran alongside a life intensely lived. His writing about racism can prickle your skin…To paraphrase Murray's praise of Ellison's Invisible Man, reading [Collected Essays & Memoirs] is like watching someone take a 12-bar blues song and score it for full orchestra.
From the Publisher
"Albert Murray's best nonfiction has been gathered in a plump and welcome volume from the Library of America. . . . His writing about racism can prickle your skin. . . . To paraphrase Murray's praise of Ellison's Invisible Man, reading this book is like watching someone take a 12-bar blues song and score it for a full orchestra." — Dwight Garner, The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781598535037
Publisher:
Library of America
Publication date:
10/18/2016
Series:
Library of America Series , #284
Pages:
1072
Sales rank:
97,138
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Henry Louis Gates Jr., co-editor, is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Emmy Award–winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder, Gates has authored or coauthored twenty-one books and created fifteen documentary films. He is the editor of two other volumes in the Library of America series, Frederick Douglass: Autobiographies and, with William L. Andrews, Slave Narratives.

Paul Devlin, co-editor, teaches English at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and has published essays and criticism in many periodicals. He is the editor of Murray Talks Music: Albert Murray on Jazz and Blues (2016) and Rifftide: The Life and Opinions of Papa Jo Jones, as told to Albert Murray (2011), a finalist for the Jazz Journalists Association’s book award.

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