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Title:
The best of Simple.
ISBN/ISSN:
0374521336
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Central - Houston Public Library Adult Paperback Classic Uncataloged paperback PAPERBACK CLASSIC
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Central - Houston Public Library Adult Paperback Classic Uncataloged paperback PAPERBACK CLASSIC
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Heights - Houston Public Library Adult Paperback Classic Uncataloged paperback PAPERBACK CLASSIC
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Summary

Summary

Langston Hughes's stories about Jesse B. Semple--first composed for a weekly column in the Chicago Defender and then collected in Simple Speaks His Mind , Simple Takes a Wife , and Simple Stakes a Claim --have been read and loved by hundreds of thousands of readers. In The Best of Simple , the author picked his favorites from these earlier volumes, stories that not only have proved popular but are now part of a great and growing literary tradition.

Simple might be considered an Everyman for black Americans. Hughes himself wrote: "...these tales are about a great many people--although they are stories about no specific persons as such. But it is impossible to live in Harlem and not know at least a hundred Simples, fifty Joyces, twenty-five Zaritas, and several Cousin Minnies--or reasonable facsimiles thereof."

As Arnold Rampersad has written, Simple is "one of the most memorable and winning characters in the annals of American literature, justly regarded as one of Hughes's most inspired creations."

Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, went to Cleveland, Ohio, lived for a number of years in Chicago, and long resided in New York City's Harlem. He graduated form Lincoln University in 1929 and was awarded an honorary Litt. D. in 1943. He was perhaps best known as a poet and the creator of Simple, but he also wrote novels, biography, history, plays (several of them Broadway hits), and children's books, and he edited several anthologies. Mr. Hughes died in 1967.


Author Notes

Langston Hughes, February 1, 1902 - May 22, 1967 Langston Hughes, one of the foremost black writers to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance, was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Mo. Hughes briefly attended Columbia University before working numerous jobs including busboy, cook, and steward. While working as a busboy, he showed his poems to American poet Vachel Lindsay, who helped launch his career. He soon obtained a scholarship to Lincoln University and had several works published.

Hughes is noted for his depictions of the black experience. In addition to the black dialect, he incorporated the rhythms of jazz and the blues into his poetry. While many recognized his talent, many blacks disapproved of his unflattering portrayal of black life. His numerous published volumes include, "The Weary Blues," "Fine Clothes to the Jew," and "Montage of a Dream Deferred." Hughes earned several awards during his lifetime including: a Guggenheim fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Grant, and a Spingarn Medal from the NAACP.

Langston Hughes died of heart failure on May 22, 1967.

(Bowker Author Biography)


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