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Classic Fiction of the Harlem Renaissance

William L. Andrews

Publication Date - May 1994

ISBN: 9780195081961

416 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


The first collection ever assembled of the most distinctive, influential, and widely appreciated novels and short stories of the Harlem Renaissance, this anthology opens a window on one of the most extraordinary assertions of racial self-consciousness in Western literature. With an insightful introduction to provide historical context and a lucid biographical headnote about each of the authors, this volume brings together under one cover the Harlem Renaissance literature most widely taught. Short stories include "Sweat" (1926) and "The Gilded Six-Bits" (1933) by Zora Neale Hurston, Rudolph Fisher's "Miss Cynthie" (1933), and "The Blues I'm Playing" (1934) by Langston Hughes. The novels Home to Harlem (1928) by Claude McKay and Nella Larsen's Quicksand (1929) are featured in their entirety, along with major selections from Jean Toomer's Cane. Added features include a chapter from Wallace Thurman's Infants of the Spring (1932), a notorious roman a clef about the Harlem Renaissance, and Rudolph Fisher's half tongue-in-cheek "Introduction to Contemporary Harlemese, Expurgated and Abridged" (1928). For students and teachers alike, there can be no more effective or enjoyable way of exploring the intellectual concerns, the ideological perspectives, and the artistic innovations of the Harlem Renaissance.


"It's wonderful to have these well-chosen representatives of a vital and interesting movement."--David Ray, University of Missouri at Kansas City

"[This edition] reissues Home to Harlem, presently out of print, and includes Quicksand in its entirety. That alone justifies its cost. The remaining selections are truly representative of the literary period. Editorial comments are excellent and lucid."--Judy Massey, Loyola University

"Good choices of Harlem Renaissance prose fiction....The Harlem Renaissance glossary is a useful and timely addendum."--Brenda Marie Osbey, Loyola University

"This superb collection will be an invaluable resource for teachers interested in expanding the canon of modern American literature."--Gregory Jay, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

"An excellent selection of Harlem Renaissance authors. This will acquaint students with the era in a way that no other single literature text can."--James Robert Saunders, University of Toledo

"A damn good text."--Anna M. Connlin, Spalding University

"A much needed, much appreciated anthology on a pivotal period in American letters. It provides invaluable information."--Nikki Giovanni, Virginia Technical School

"A useful introduction to the subject, and the literature contained in it is a most potent argument that one cannot be considered to have fluency in American culture, certainly American Letters, without knowledge of it."--Quarterly Black Review

Table of Contents

    Cane (1923), Jean Toomer
    "Sweat" (1926), Zora Neale Hurston
    "The Gilded Six-Bits" (1933), Zora Neale Hurston
    Home to Harlem (1928), Claude McKay
    "Miss Cynthia" (1933), Rudolph Fisher
    Quicksand (1929), Nella Larsen
    "The Blues I'm Playing" (1934), Langston Hughes
    from Infants of the Spring (1932), Wallace Thurman
    "An Introduction to Contemporary Harlemese" (1928), Fisher