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The LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader
     

The LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader

by Amiri Baraka, William J. Harris (Editor)
 

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Amiri Baraka - dramatist, poet, essayist, orator, and fiction writer - is one of the preeminent African-American literary figures of our time. The Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader provides the most comprehensive selection of Baraka's work to date, spanning almost 40 years of a brilliant, prolific, and controversial career, in which he has produced more than 12

Overview


Amiri Baraka - dramatist, poet, essayist, orator, and fiction writer - is one of the preeminent African-American literary figures of our time. The Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader provides the most comprehensive selection of Baraka's work to date, spanning almost 40 years of a brilliant, prolific, and controversial career, in which he has produced more than 12 books of poetry, 26 plays, eight collections of essays and speeches, and two books of fiction. This updated edition contains over 50 pages of previously unpublished work, as well as a chronology and full bibliography.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his eulogy of James Baldwin--one of this anthology's previously unpublished works--Baraka writes that Baldwin was ``turned all the way up, receiving and broadcasting . . . .'' The same can be said of Baraka. For more than 30 years he has been one of our most self-revising, self-assertive writers. Culling representative samples of his oeuvre, this expertly edited volume reflects Baraka's bold ventures and about-faces. The poems of 1964's The Dead Lecturer tick like small explosives. Selections from 1963's Blues People and 1968's Black Music reveal Baraka as a superb, learned critic. With remarkable candor, an excerpt from Baraka's 1984 autobiography scrutinizes his Black Arts period. Notable among the new pieces is ``Why's / wise,'' a long poem that unfolds the story of how African-Americans' appropriation of English led to the rich oral languages of blues and jazz, from which so much of Baraka's own work proceeds. The story of Baraka's metamorphoses is itself part of the story of contemporary literature's development. Anyone seeking to understand either will find this volume indispensable. Harris wrote The Poetry and Poetics of Amiri Baraka. (June)
Library Journal
Baraka is a writer who readily embraces change, and this collection reflects a life full of changes beginning with something as fundamental as a change in name. The selections included are arranged chronologically in four distinct periods: The Beat Period (1957-62), The Transitional Period (1963-65), The Black Nationalist Period (1965-74), and The Third World Marxist Period (1974-present). Editor Harris, in collaboration with Baraka, has chosen representative examples of Baraka's poems, plays, jazz writings, and social criticism. Among several new works are a eulogy for James Baldwin and an emotional analysis of Jesse Jackson's role in Democratic politics. Essential for all literature collections.-- William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560250074
Publisher:
Avalon Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/28/1993
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
544
Product dimensions:
5.57(w) x 8.37(h) x 2.08(d)

What People are Saying About This

June Jordan
It's about time that the multifaceted and always changing convictions and work of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka should [be] available in an affordable, coherent fashion! In this reader, finally, anyone can check out and check into the influential, conflicted, frequently brilliant and unpredictable thinking and writing of this major American writer and poet and activist.
—June Jordan
Arnold Rampersad
Baraka stands with Wheatley, Douglass, Dunbar, Hughes, Hurston, Wright and Ellison as one of the eight figures…who have significantly affected the course of African-American literary culture.
—Arnold Rampersad
Ishmael Reed
Always a nuance ahead of everybody else, he is our most original writer. Nobody else comes close.
Gwendolyn Brooks
His works work—in terms of efficiency, in terms of amazing manipulation of fire and music. Baraka is always new.

Meet the Author


Amiri Baraka is a critic, poet, playwright, and activist. He lives in Newark, NJ. William J. Harris is associate professor of English at SUNY-Stony Brook.

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