Jean Toomer Reader: Selected and Unpublished Writings

Jean Toomer Reader: Selected and Unpublished Writings



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Jean Toomer Reader: Selected and Unpublished Writings by Jean Toomer

Jean Toomer achieved instant recognition as a critic and thinker in 1923 with the publication of his novel Cane, a harsh, eloquent vision of black American hardship and suffering. But because of his reclusive, introspective nature, Toomer's fame waned in later years, and today his other contributions to American thought and literature are all but forgotten. Now, this collection of unpublished writings restores a crucial dimension to our understanding of this important African American author. Thematically arranging letters, sketches, poems, autobiography, short stories, a play, and a children's story, Frederik Rusch offers insight into Toomer's mind and spirituality, his feelings on racial identity in America, and his attitudes toward and ideas about Cane. Rusch highlights Toomer's reflections on America, its people, landscape, and politics, reveals his significance for the problems and issues of today, and helps us understand Toomer not only as writer, but also as social critic, prophet, mystic, and idealist. Exploring Toomer's attempts to find self-realization and transcend social and cultural definitions of race, this book offers a unique view of the United States through the life of one of its most significant and fascinating intellectuals.

"A useful addition to African-American literary scholarship....Properly emphasizes what Toomer critics have identified as the major themes of his life and work."--Choice
"A valuable addition to the body of Toomer's work."--Georgia Historical Quarterly
"Toomer was one of the most talented authors of the Harlem Renaissance, and he made valuable contributions to modernist literature, unfortunately forgotten, that this volume helps makeclear."--Mary Ann Wimsatt, University of South Carolina
"Continuing a decade's work on Jean Toomer's literary development, Frederick L. Rusch's exemplary edition of the unpublished works invites us to follow the work of a writer whose project was no less than defining the subjective creation of a multi-cultural American."--John M. Reilly, State University of New York at Albany
"Valuable supplementary material from one of the most important African-American writers of all time. This will help to re-establish his worth and make him more widely known and appreciated."--Dennis Brutus, University of Colorado
"A valuable addition to the primary source materials on Toomer."--Joseph McLaren, Hofstra University

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195077339
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 12/16/1993
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.31(w) x 9.56(h) x 0.97(d)

About the Author

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York

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