A DuBose Heyward Reader

Hardcover (Print)
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DuBose Heyward (1885-1940) was a central figure in both the Charleston and the Southern Renaissance. His influence extended to the Harlem Renaissance as well. However, Heyward is often remembered simply as the author of Porgy, the 1925 novel about the poorest black residents of Charleston, South Carolina. Porgy—the novel and its stage versions—has probably done more to shape views worldwide of African American life in the South than any twentieth-century work besides Gone with the Wind. This volume acquaints readers with writings by Heyward that have been overshadowed by Porgy, and it also plumbs the complex sensibilities of the man behind that popular and enduring creation.

James M. Hutchisson's introduction relates aspects of Heyward's life to his creative growth and his gradual shift from staunch social conservatism to a liberal (though never revolutionary) advocacy of black rights. The reader collects ten essays by Heyward on topics ranging from an aesthetics of African American art to the history of Charleston. Heyward's poetry is represented by eighteen pieces from the collections Carolina Chansons, Skylines and Horizons, and Jasbo Brown and Selected Poems. Also included are three song lyrics Heyward wrote for the opera Porgy and Bess. The sampling of Heyward's fiction includes the stories "The Brute" and The Half Pint Flask and excerpts from the novels Porgy, Mamba's Daughters, and Peter Ashley.

Here is an ideal introduction to a figure whose inner conflicts were closely tied to those of his beloved South: struggles between privilege and poverty, black and white, and art for the few versus art for the masses.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The selections here offer a broad canvas on which to view [Heyward's] work."—William Starr, The State

"The range of Heyward's writing, traditionally overshadowed by Porgy, is given expansive treatment in A DuBose Heyward Reader."—Bill Thompson, Charleston Post & Courier

"This is a luscious sampling of fiction, poetry and essays from the famed author of Porgy.”—Sandlapper

The State
The selections here offer a broad canvas on which to view [Heyward's] work.
Charleston Post & Courier
The range of Heyward's writing, traditionally overshadowed by Porgy, is given expansive treatment in A DuBose Heyward Reader.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

James M. Hutchisson is a professor of English at The Citadel. His books include DuBose Heyward: A Charleston Gentleman and the World of Porgy and Bess and The Rise of Sinclair Lewis, 1920-1930.

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations Used in the Text
"Poetry South" 3
Preface to Carolina Chansons 11
"And Once Again - the Negro" 13
Foreword to the Year Book of the Poetry Society of South Carolina (1923) 17
"The New Note in Southern Literature" 22
"The American Negro in Art" 27
"The Negro in the Low-Country" 34
"Porgy and Bess Return on Wings of Song" 46
"Dock Street Theatre" 52
"Charleston: Where Mellow Past and Present Meet" 57
"Silences" 75
"The Pirates" 77
"The Last Crew" 85
"Modern Philosopher" 94
"Gamesters All" 94
"Dusk" 98
"Your Gifts" 99
"A Yoke of Steers" 100
"The Mountain Woman" 101
"The Mountain Preacher" 101
"Black Christmas" 103
"New England Landscape" 103
"Suffrage" 104
"Weariness" 105
"Buzzard Island" 105
"Chant for an Old Town" 106
"Jasbo Brown" 113
"Prodigal" 119
"Summertime" 120
"My Man's Gone Now" 120
"A Woman Is a Sometime Thing" 121
"The Brute" 125
Catfish Row and the Murder of Robbins 133
Porgy, Bess, and Sportin' Life 146
The Hurricane 155
Porgy's Heroism and His Loss 169
The Half Pint Flask 181
Hagar and Bluton 195
Lissa and the Black Elite 204
Lissa's Triumph 230
Peter's Conflicted Identity 236
The Slave Market 246
Emendations in the Copy-Texts 261
Notes 265
Index 289
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