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Selected Letters of Langston Hughes
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375413790, Hardcover)A publishing event: for the first time ever, a glorious comprehensive selection from the correspondence of the canonical African American author-a virtual "life in letters," showcasing his struggles and extraordinary achievement.
This unprecedented collection of Langston Hughes's letters is arranged by decades, with helpful interstitial material and notes throughout to guide us through Hughes's journey in all its aspects: literary, personal, political, practical. His correspondents include such luminaries as Carl Van Vechten, Blanche Knopf, Ezra Pound, Countee Cullen, Paul Robeson, and Richard Wright. The letters tell the story of a writer finding his voice; struggling with how to support himself in a literary career; reaching out to students in segregated schools in the South; using his artistic clout in the service of the disenfranchised or wrongly accused; and discovering, above all, that as an African American writer in a segregated America, his only true freedom was to be found on the page. Photographs and quotes from the poetry enliven the volume and give a fuller picture of this generous, visionary, and gratifyingly good man who was a genius of modern American letters.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:54 -0400)
This is the first comprehensive selection from the correspondence of the iconic and beloved Langston Hughes. It offers a life in letters that showcases his many struggles as well as his memorable achievements. Arranged by decade and linked by expert commentary, the volume guides us through Hughes's journey in all its aspects: personal, political, practical, and--above all--literary. His letters range from those written to family members, notably his father (who opposed Langston's literary ambitions), and to friends, fellow artists, critics, and readers who sought him out by mail. These figures include personalities such as Carl Van Vechten, Blanche Knopf, Zora Neale Hurston, Arna Bontemps, Vachel Lindsay, Ezra Pound, Richard Wright, Kurt Weill, Carl Sandburg, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Alice Walker, Amiri Baraka, and Muhammad Ali. The letters tell the story of a determined poet precociously finding his mature voice; struggling to realize his literary goals in an environment generally hostile to blacks; reaching out bravely to the young and challenging them to aspire beyond the bonds of segregation; using his artistic prestige to serve the disenfranchised and the cause of social justice; irrepressibly laughing at the world despite its quirks and humiliations. Venturing bravely on what he called the "big sea "of life, Hughes made his way forward always aware that his only hope of self-fulfillment and a sense of personal integrity lay in diligently pursuing his literary vocation. Hughes's voice in these pages, enhanced by photographs and quotations from his poetry, allows us to know him intimately and gives us an unusually rich picture of this generous, visionary, gratifyingly good man who was also a genius of modern American letters.