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Felicia R. Lee… Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Harvard scholar, and Rudolph P. Byrd, a professor at Emory University, say their research for a new edition of Cane documents that Toomer was “a Negro who decided to pass for white.” They lob this intellectual grenade in their introduction to the book, which W. W. Norton & Company is to publish next month. Their judgment is based on “an analysis of archival evidence previously overlooked by other scholars,” Mr. Byrd and Mr. Gates write, including Toomer’s draft registrations and his and his family’s census records, which they consider alongside his writings and public statements.
… The 472-page Norton volume includes the first edition of Cane, Toomer’s letters, essays, his autobiographical writing and more than 20 interpretive essays about Toomer and the book. It is intended to follow up the first Norton critical edition, published in 1988, and to take Toomer scholarship into the 21st century.
—The New York Times