The Novels: Not without Laughter and Tambourines to Glory (The Collected Works of Langston Hughes) / Edition 1

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Although best known as a poet, Langston Hughes was also the author of two novels that richly evoke the black experience in America. First published in 1930 and 1958, respectively, Not without Laughter and Tambourines to Glory reflect the early and late vision of one of the twentieth century's most distinguished men of letters. In his introduction to this combined edition of both novels, Dolan Hubbard addresses Hughes's growing influence on American letters and reveals how a black aesthetic tradition shaped his art and his imagination.

Hughes shows us how the discourse of black America informs and alters our understanding of cultural history and of aesthetic values. In Not without Laughter, he movingly tells the story of a black boy growing into manhood in a small Kansas town during the early twentieth century and his experiences with race, family, school, work, music, and religion. His grandmother, a humble religious woman, struggles to keep her family (living with her are two of her three daughters, one son-in-law, and her grandson) together, on the meager income she earns by taking in washing.

Set in Harlem, the center of Hughes's spiritual universe, Tambourines to Glory is an urban folk melodrama based on the black fusion of Christian hymns and spirituals with the blues. This comic novel captures the spirit of newly transplanted southern blacks who bend the alien rhythms of the city to the gospel sound.

This volume of The Collected Works of Langston Hughes is a testament to a man whose life and writings have had a profound influence on world literature and is proof that Hughes's immense talent embraced not only poetry, but fiction as well.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This momentous work (which will total 16 volumes in all) is intended to cover the wide scope of Hughes's career, including all of his plays, essays, short stories, novels, and other writing. Each volume reproduces a detailed chronology and is edited and introduced by an expert in the particular genre. The first three volumes cover Hughes's poetry and are edited by Rampersad, who also edited the Complete Poems of Langston Hughes (LJ 11/1/94) and wrote the two-volume The Life of Langston Hughes (LJ 8/86, LJ 9/15/88). The introduction to Volume 3 provides an outline of Hughes as a poet but focuses on the later works collected in the volume. This new collection reproduces the published and unpublished version of each poem, whereas the Complete Poems reproduced only a poem's last version. The fourth volume, edited by Hubbard (English and language arts, Morgan State Univ.; The Sermon and the African American Literary Imagination), contains Hughes's two novels. In his introduction, Hubbard provides a summary of the works, places them in the context of Hughes's career, and delineates their similar themes. This complete collection is essential for academic libraries that have large modern literature programs or focus on the Harlem Renaissance. For other libraries, this set may be an important tool to fill in collection gaps, but duplication may not be necessary. [Volumes 1 and 2, released in May, covered poetry published between 1921 and 1941 and 1921 and 1950, respectively. Ed.] Paolina Taglienti, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826213426
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2001
  • Series: Collected Works of Langston Hughes Series, #4
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Editor

Dolan Hubbard is Professor of English and Language Arts at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the author of The Sermon and the African American Literary Imagination and the editor of The Souls of Black Folk One Hundred Years Later.

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Table of Contents

I. Storm 21
II. Conversation 28
III. Jimboy's Letter 36
IV. Thursday Afternoon 40
V. Guitar 47
VI. Work 55
VII. White Folks 61
VIII. Dance 69
IX. Carnival 82
X. Punishment 90
XI. School 95
XII. Hard Winter 100
XIII. Christmas 108
XIV. Return 117
XV. One by One 122
XVI. Nothing but Love 129
XVII. Barber-Shop 133
XVIII. Children's Day 139
XIX. Ten Dollars and Costs 145
XX. Hey, Boy! 148
XXI. Note to Harriett 154
XXII. Beyond the Jordan 161
XXIII. Tempy's House 165
XXIV. A Shelf of Books 170
XXV. Pool Hall 174
XXVI. The Doors of Life 179
XXVII. Beware of Women 184
XXVIII. Chicago 191
XXIX. Elevator 200
XXX. Princess of the Blues 204
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