Qty:1
  • List Price: $17.00
  • Save: $6.18 (36%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Binding is tight. May have bent pages, some markings, and/or moderate shelf wear. May be ex-library with library stamps/stickers. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed! Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, Package Tracking, and 24/7 Customer Service!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Big Sea: An Autobiography (American Century Series) Paperback – August 1, 1993


See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$118.50
Paperback
"Please retry"
$10.82
$5.91 $2.30
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$3.80


Frequently Bought Together

The Big Sea: An Autobiography (American Century Series) + I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey (American Century Series) + The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Classics)
Price for all three: $37.51

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The Bone Clocks
David Mitchell's hypnotic new novel crackles with invention and sheer storytelling pleasure. Learn more

Product Details

  • Series: American Century Series
  • Paperback: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; Second Edition edition (August 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809015498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809015498
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Langston Hughes is the Jazz Poet! The constant communicator of Blues. He is the singer, philosopher, the folk and urban lyricist. This book is the chronicle of a bright and lively artistic ear that brought the African-American people full into the twentieth century. It is a wonderful book!"--Amiri Baraka

About the Author

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 from 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.

Arnold Rampersad, author of the widely acclaimed biography The Life of Langston Hughes, is Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature and director of American Studies at Princeton University.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
15
4 star
7
3 star
1
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 24 customer reviews
I totally recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more.
Jason Long
Along the way, the reader has to be amazed at the texture and breadth of his life adventures.
Amazon Customer
I have always enjoyed Langston Hughes' poetry and I am thoroughly enjoying The Big Sea.
Leslie R. Neal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By pearl cleage on September 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book had a profound effect my life as a writer.My mother read it to me at night like fairy tales when I was very young. As I grew up and realized I wanted to write professionally, the lessons in The Big Sea made the writing life seem not only possible, but the best life a person could find. I would say without a doubt that this is my favorite book of all time. If I was marooned on a desert island, this would be the book I would take with me. From his base in Harlem, it shows Hughes embracing the whole world. The Big Sea is a book to read and treasure. again and again.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By macross@bellsouth.net on August 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
Langston Hughes' book, "The Big Sea," is a chronicle of the legendary writer's life up until his first success as a writer. His journey's take him to Mexico, Africa, and Europe in a quest to find out his place in this world. In a time when being a person of color meant certain injustice, Hughes uses his travels to become aware of the "ways" of racism and how to combat it. An excellent book that is more an exciting adventure, than an autobiography.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 1997
Format: Paperback
Hughes, known primarily for his poetry and short stories, discusses his life.

I found it intriguing that such a wonderful writer struggled so. Much like Maya Angelou's books, this book left me with the feeling that truly great people can overcome tremendous obstacles to succeed. Also like Maya's books, this book made me realize that many of my own troubles pale to those of some very successful people.

Perhaps what I enjoyed most about this book was Hughes' reflection on Harlem, 1920s-1930s. His interaction with such greats as Van Vechten, Hurston, Thurman, and others was fascinating, leaving me wanting to know even more about 1920-30s life in Harlem.

I truly enjoyed this book
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 4, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Langston Hughes was a wonderful poet and story teller so it is not surprising that his autobiography/memoir is a joy to read. He tells the story of his life by giving us delightful episodes that each read like short stories. Each chapter has the structure of a short story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Along the way, the reader has to be amazed at the texture and breadth of his life adventures. He lives for a short time in Mexico with his father, in several cities with his mother and other relatives, and then his wonderful sea going adventures in Europe, Africa, and also his stay in Paris. The reader also gets a first hand glimpse of what it was like to be "Negro" in America as well as in other places in the world. The writing is bright and energetic and the book is very difficult to put down. I highly recommend it to anyone who might be thinking about writing an autobiography or memoir.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Kelley on July 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
"On a radio show, he (Hughes) defended the right of trumpeter Louis Armstrong, who had long faced the white world with a broad grin, to vent his racial anger."

Like Armstrong, Hughes also faced the same world with his broad smile. Throughout the BIG SEA and I WONDER AS I WANDER, there in the texts of both autobiographies is the ever smiling Hughes. Other than the people he met and the foreign lands he visited---all making for great and entertaining reading--- very little is revealed about the man he was. His larger than life personae masked a man who was only 5'4 in stature, closeted gay
because being open would have meant a short career and ostracism, especially in the African American community who was a refuge from a racially hostile world and who Hughes loved with an unmatched passion back in his day, and, according to the late Gwendolyn Brooks who had known Hughes since the age of 16 wrote in a New York Times article that when Hughes was subjected to offense and icy treatment because of his race, he was capable of jagged anger - and vengeance, instant or retroactive. She has letters from him that reveal he could respond with real rage when he felt he was treated cruelly by other people.

Both autobiographies do a great job at documenting the world in Hughes' day. The most fascinating thing about the first book of his life is the Harlem Renaissance and the people who moved in it during its illustrious height. Till this day, the BIG SEA provides one of the best sources of this important period in American culture. Few people realized that if not for best friend Arna Bomtemps the autobiography may have never been written. Bontemps encouraged Hughes to write the book. Up to that time, few blacks, especially black males, had seen and done what Hughes managed to do.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dawn King on December 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
This autobiography does not seem an autobiography to me. It is so compelling. So melodramatic. The language is concise but so incisive. Hughes does not seem like a student who has only a bachelor's degree from Lincoln University. He is a man of the world. He is adventurous and romantic. Never have I read a biography that has intrigued me so much-except The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, perhaps-and moved me so much. I am not an African American, but in reading the book, I feel myself a part of the Harlem Renaissance, or a friend of Hughes who listens to his stories.
Usually people say biographies and autobiographies are records of past histories. However this one is not. The Big Sea is far more than a record of Harlem Renaissance. It is a book alive, offering the poetic life-perspective of a distinguished African American poet to any reader, American or European, teen or adult, who wants to be a successful fisherman in the big sea of life, as Hughes beautifully said at the end of the book:"Literature is a big sea full of many fish. I let down my nets and pulled. I am still pulling." So am I and any other admirer of Hughes. Though we are pulling in different seas.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?