The Life of Langston Hughes
By Arnold Rampersad
(Oxford University Press, USA, Paperback, 9780195146431, 576pp.)
Publication Date: January 2002
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The second volume in this masterful biography finds Hughes rooting himself in Harlem, receiving stimulation from his rich cultural surroundings. Here he rethought his view of art and radicalism, and cultivated relationships with younger, more militant writers such as Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Amiri Bakara. Rampersad's Afterword to volume two looks further into his influence and how it expanded beyond the literary as a result of his love of jazz and blues, his opera and musical theater collaborations, and his participation in radio and television. In addition, Rempersad explores the controversial matter of Hughes's sexuality and the possibility that, despite a lack of clear evidence, Hughes was homosexual.
Exhaustively researched in archival collections throughout the country, especially in the Langston Hughes papers at Yale University's Beinecke Library, and featuring fifty illustrations per volume, this anniversary edition will offer a new generation of readers entrance to the life and mind of one of the twentieth century's greatest artists.
The works of Langston Hughes reflect the lives and struggles of African Americans, and celebrate the richness of the culture. February 1, 2012 marked the 110th anniversary of the late poet, musician and playwright's birth. More at NPR.org
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