Chester Himes

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Overview

A contemporary of Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Ralph Ellison, Chester Himes wrote with perhaps more angry fire than his celebrated colleagues about black protagonists doomed by white racisim and self-hate. Among his writings is a series of hard-boiled detective novels featuring black detectives and a host of Harlem hustlers. The acclaimed Harlem series and much of his later work were written in France where Himes lived as an American expatriate from 1953 until his death in 1984. Exhaustively researched and well constructed, this comprehensive bibliography clears up mysteries and dispels misconceptions about the extent of Himes's work and its critical reception.

The primary bibliography identifies all United States, French, and British first and second editions of Himes's novels, the first appearances in periodicals of his short stories, his collected fiction, and his magazine and book-length nonfiction pieces. It includes manuscript materials and a filmography of adaptations of his novels. The annotated secondary bibliography provides a key to the biographical and critical work produced about Himes in the United States, Britain, and France since the late 1940s. Chronologically organized, it is indexed by author and by titles of the relevant Himes's works. The volume's introduction outlines Himes's life and career, discusses gaps in his writing history, and attempts to provide a more realistic picture of his critical reception in the United States based on an analysis of the secondary bibliography rather than on previous views influenced by Himes's own negative perceptions. A chronology of Himes's career is also included, and the volume's preface explains the organization of the bibliography and how to use it. This work will be of special value to university libraries offering programs in popular culture, American literature, and African American studies as well as to individual scholars and researchers in these fields and scholars and collectors interested particularly in Himes and his works.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Surveys the work by and about the Afro-American writer Himes (1909- 84), best known for his Harlem detective series, who pursued his career as an expatriot in Paris. Identifies the first and second editions of his novels in France, Britain, and the US, the first appearance of short stories in periodicals, collected fiction, and nonfiction; also includes manuscript material and film adaptations. The secondary bibliography cites and describes critical and biographical studies 1945-90. Indexed only by author and title. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

MICHEL FABRE is a full professor of the faculty of La Sorbonne Nuvelle, Paris, and is director of Le Centre d'Etudes Afro-Americaines.

ROBERT E. SKINNER, is University Librarian at Xavier University of Louisiana, in New Orleans and a frequent writer on the history and development of the American hard-boiled detective tale.

LESTER SULLIVAN is the University Archivist at Xavier University of Louisiana.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Acknowledgments

The Career of Chester Himes

Chronology: The Life and Career of Chester Himes

Primary Bibliography

Fiction: The Novels

The Short Fiction

First Periodical Appearances

Collected Short Fiction

Non-Fiction: Books and Book Appearances

First Periodical Appearances

Manuscript Materials

Filmography

Secondary Bibliography

1945-1949

1950-1959

1960-1969

1970-1979

1980-1989

1990

Author Index

Title Index

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