Critical Response To Chester Himes

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $107.80
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 11%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $107.80   
  • New (5) from $116.37   
  • Used (2) from $107.80   


The work of Chester Himes is now undergoing a critical and popular reevaluation as it gradually comes back into print after years of neglect. His protest novels from the 1940s and early 1950s, his Harlem Domestic crime books, first published in France and later released in English in the United States, and his remarkable two-volume autobiography are now gaining a wider readership through their republication. Nonetheless, the critical writings on his work remain scattered and are often difficult to obtain. This collection of reviews and essays from both popular and academic sources traces the critical response to his work from 1946 to 1996 and thus sheds light on the critical reputation of one of the most distinguished but underrated African American authors.

Himes has a wide international reputation, but this reference book focuses on those essays and reviews in the English language which provide a clearer assessment of his controversial literary standing in his native country, where his reputation has been most under debate. The book includes a balanced assessment of all his work, along with an interview with Himes's brother that offers some corrective commentary on his autobiography. The volume also provides a chronology, a checklist of his writings, and a bibliography.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the mid-1930s to the late 1970s, Chester Bomar Himes (1909-1984) was a poignant black voice against racism. Ironically, it was while incarcerated in Ohio State Penitentiary that he discovered his vocation as a writer. This and other autobiographical facts of the author of (1945) and (1972) are revealed in an interview with his sociologist brother in the last of 28 compiled reviews and essays written from 1946 (by James Baldwin) to 1996. Includes a chronology. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

CHARLES L.P. SILET is Professor of English at Iowa State University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Series Foreword
The Writings of Chester Himes
History as Nightmare 3
No Thrills in Harlem 7
The Crazy Kill and If He Hollers Let Him Go 11
The Best Black American Novelist Writing Today 13
Rhythms of Black Experience 17
Chester Himes - "Alien" in Exile 21
A Case of Rape 25
The Chester Himes Mystique 33
Policiers Noirs 37
Chester Himes: The Collected Stories 41
The Best of Himes, the Worst of Himes 43
Himes and Self-hatred 47
Domestic Harlem: The Detective Fiction of Chester Himes 53
Violence Real and Imagined: The Novels of Chester Himes 65
Chester Himes: "A Nigger" 83
The Use of the Doppelganger or Double in Chester Himes' Lonely Crusade 93
Chester Himes and the Art of Fiction 101
Chester Himes and the Hard-Boiled Tradition 117
In America's Black Heartland: The Achievement of Chester Himes 127
Postscript: A Case of Rape 139
Topographies of Violence: Chester Himes' Harlem Domestic Novels 155
Space and Civil Rights Ideology: The Example of Chester Himes's The Third Generation 169
Toni Morrison's Variations on Chester Himes 181
The Black Man in the Literature of Labor: The Early Novels of Chester Himes 187
Limited Options: Strategic Maneuverings in Himes's Harlem 201
African American Anti-Semitism and Himes's Lonely Crusade 221
Slaying the Fathers: The Autobiography of Chester Himes 241
An Interview
Chester Himes - The Ethics of Ambiguity: An Interview with Joseph Sandy Himes, Jr. 259
Bibliography 273
Index 281
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)