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The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader (Portable Library) Paperback – June 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0140170368 ISBN-10: 0140170367 Edition: Portable Library

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Product Details

  • Series: Portable Library
  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Portable Library edition (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140170367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140170368
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This collection magnificently represents the great voices of this era. The volume includes the work of some forty-five Renaissance figures: short fiction and self-contained novel excerpts by Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen, Wallace Thurman, and Jean Toomer; poems by Gwendolyn Bennett, Countee Cullen, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Langston Hughes, and Claude McKay; essays, manifestos, speeches, and nostalgic reminiscences by Romare Bearden, W. E. B. Dubois, Marcus Garvey, James Weldon Johnson, Alain Locke, and Richard Wright.

From Library Journal

Editor Lewis is a noted author of several books, e.g., When Harlem Was in Vogue ( LJ 3/15/81) and, most recently, W.E.B. DuBois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919 ( LJ 8/93). This hefty tome features many significant essays, poems, and stories not readily available to all scholars that are drawn from African American journals of the period, including Opportunity, Crisis, and Fire! In his introduction, Lewis carefully explores tension within this arts and letters movement. The collected excerpts of writers like Cullen, Hurston, Hughes, McKay, DuBois, and Wright represent a balance between those Renaissance supporters and writers who "saw the small cracks in the wall of racism that could, they anticipated, be widened through the production of exemplary racial images" and those who "saw art not as politics by other means--civil rights between covers or from a stage or an easel." This anthology will balance and enhance any modern American literature collection.
- Faye A. Chadwell, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I give this book five stars because it has a wonderful cross-section of female and male Harlem Renaissance writers, and also because it includes fiction, prose (articles and essays), and poetry. This volume is nicely compiled, and it is a lovely companion to similar anthologies, such as "Trouble the Water," which is an anthology of black poetry from slavery through modern times. Also, because the Harlem Renaissance happened so long ago, The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader includes works and excerpts from works that are seemingly out of print, such as a selection by Carter G. Woodson. This book has a lovely variety of practically every genre of literature, and is a must for any African-American studies scholar, though it is a capable volume for any student of literature, period. The only possible drawback of this book is that it contains a lot of excerpts. If you enjoy a certain excerpt (and it is almost guaranteed that you will), finding a copy of its parent body of work will become frustratingly high on your list of priorities. The Harlem Renaissance Reader is truly reccommended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Martin Klammer on September 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
In teaching the Harlem Renaissance out of this anthology I realized to my shock and horror that the poem "Mulatto" attributed to Langston Hughes is in fact the poem "Mulatto" written by Claude McKay. That is a HUGE gaffe! (Hughes did write a poem titled "Mulatto"--just not this one.) In addition, in the 1994 hardback edition, Hughes's famous poem "Negro" has somehow lost its last two stanzas. I only realized that when I asked my students about the stunning line, "The Belgians cut off my hands in the Congo" and they all looked at me with blank stares. Perhaps Hughes might say, "I've been a writer: They cut off my verses at Viking Press." Oddly, Hughes's biographer Arnold Rampersad has written a laudatory blurb for this volume. How in the world could a Harlem Renaissance Reader dishonor the Harlem Renaissance's greatest writer?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By BL Wilson on January 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
This hefty book has stories and poems written by the great writers of the Harlem Renaissance era. If you've ever been curious about the Harlem Renaissance--what it was; who was a part of it and when did it happen, this is the book for you.

You can sample stories and poetry written in the language of the times from Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, Walter White, Claude Mc Kay, Carl Van Vechten, Richard Bruce Nugent, Sterling Brown, Nella Larsen, Countee Cullen, Jean Toomer, Marcus Garvey, Alaine Locke, Wallace Thurman.

While you won't be able to see the marvelous art works of Aaron Douglas, Romare Bearden or watch the acting talent of Paul Robeson in this book but each of the men and other visual artists of the day were interviewed or have written descriptive essays about their works or the times in which they lived.

This book gives the reader a splendid view of the Harlem Renaissance and why it was important time not just in Black History but also in American History.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By merryprankster on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic source for essays by many of the Harlem Renaissance writers. Every convievable writer is highlighted in this book, from W.E.B. Dubois, to Alain Locke, to George S. Schuyler. Their most influential essays are presented in this book.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By cloudy on August 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
The poetry is really good, only I wish there were a little more. The prose writings have some really excellent sources. Good for an educational text for students covering the period.
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