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The Return of Simple [NOOK Book]


Jesse B. Simple, Simple to his fans, made weekly appearances beginning in 1943 in Langston Hughes' column in the Chicago Defender. Simple may have shared his readers feelings of loss and dispossession, but he also cheered them on with his wonderful wit and passion for life.

Jesse B. Simple, Simple to his fans, made weekly appearances beginning in 1943 in ...

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The Return of Simple

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Jesse B. Simple, Simple to his fans, made weekly appearances beginning in 1943 in Langston Hughes' column in the Chicago Defender. Simple may have shared his readers feelings of loss and dispossession, but he also cheered them on with his wonderful wit and passion for life.

Jesse B. Simple, Simple to his fans, made weekly appearances beginning in 1943 in Langston Hughes's column in the Chicago Defender. This collection contains 62 of Hughes's magnificent Simple stories, many never before published in book form. "A lively collection . . . funny-but-wise."--Robert O'Meally, New York Newsday.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hughes (1902-1967), whose work accelerated the recognition of African American literature, is remembered mostly for his poetry. But Hughes also touched the minds of millions through the brief narrations of the fictional Jesse B. Semple, or ``Simple,'' which first appeared in 1943 in his column in the Chicago Defender and, later, in the New York Post. Here, edited by a teacher at Spelman College, is an enlightening collection of these social commentaries. Half of the selections have never appeared in book form; the others are drawn from five previous Simple collections, all out of print. Harper groups her choices into four sections: ``Women in Simple's Life''; ``Race, Riots, Police, Prices, and Politics''; ``Africa and Black Pride''; and ``Parting Lines.'' Topics range from criticism of superficial beauty (``Wigs, Women and Falsies'') to animal rights (``Money and Mice'') and the equation of the word ``black'' with ``evil'' in American slang (``That Word Black''). Throughout, the persistence of some issues from the 1940s through the present is striking and infuriating. In ``Population Explosion,'' for example, written in 1965, Simple criticizes the racist underpinnings of birth-control and sterilization proposals, while in ``Liberals Need a Mascot,'' from 1949, he takes an insightful jab at the hypocritical politically correct. Also discussing Pan Africanism, children's rights, socioeconomic imbalances and African American animosity toward the police, Hughes, through the sometimes hyperbolic but always critical commentary of Jesse B. Semple, challenges the widespread notion of the unsophisticated ``common man.'' Welcome back, Simple. (July)
Library Journal
All five books featuring Jesse B. Semple (``Simple''), the character Hughes created for his weekly Chicago Defender column, are out of print. Half the stories here are drawn from those books; the remainder have never before appeared in book form.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429924092
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 578,026
  • File size: 313 KB

Meet the Author

Langston Hughes (1902-67) was born in Joplin, Missouri, was educated at Lincoln University, and lived for most of his life in New York City. He is best known as a poet, but he also wrote novels, biography, history, plays, and children's books. Among his works are two volumes of memoirs, The Big Sea and I Wonder as I Wander, and two collections of Simple stories, The Best of Simple and The Return of Simple.

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Table of Contents

Remembrances 3
Wigs, Women, and Falsies 7
On Women Who Drink You Up 9
Better than a Pillow 11
Explain That to Me 17
Baltimore Womens 22
Less than a Damn 27
Never No More 31
Simply Heavenly 34
Staggering Figures 38
The Moon 40
Domesticated 42
Hairdos 44
Cousin Minnie Wins 47
Self-protection 51
Ladyhood 53
Lynn Clarisse 57
Riddles 60
Ways and Means 67
The Law 72
American Dilemma 74
Color of the Law 76
After Hours 78
When a Man Sees Red 83
Simple and the High Prices 86
Nickel for the Phone 88
Possum, Race, and Face 91
Everybody's Difference 98
Coffee Break 102
Intermarriage 104
Joyce Objects 106
Liberals Need a Mascot 110
Serious Talk about the Atom Bomb 112
Adventure 115
Brainwashed 117
Wigs for Freedom 119
Help, Mayor, Help! 124
Soul Food 127
Little Klanny 134
Simple's Psychosis 137
The Necessaries 143
That Word Black 146
Colleges and Color 148
Whiter than Snow 151
Big Round World 155
Roots and Trees 159
Pictures 163
Simple Arithmetic 166
Africa's Daughters 168
African Names 170
Harems and Robes 172
Nothing but Roomers 179
Simple Santa 184
Empty Houses 188
God's Other Side 192
Dog Days 195
Weight in Gold 198
Sympathy 201
Money and Mice 204
Population Explosion 208
Youthhood 210
Hail and Farewell 212
Sources of Stories 217
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2011

    Sweet, charming, and provoking. -Belinda

    SImple is simply one of my favorite books.

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    Great read!

    I love this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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