The Return of Simple

The Return of Simple

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by Langston Hughes
     
 

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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.

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Overview

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.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429924092
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
04/01/2011
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
File size:
320 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.


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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The Return of Simple 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Belinda David More than 1 year ago
SImple is simply one of my favorite books.
Raymond Frederick More than 1 year ago
I love this book!