Albert Murray (Hardcover)
Collected Novels & Poems (LOA #304): Train Whistle Guitar / The Spyglass Tree / The Seven League Boots / The Magic Keys/ Poems (Library of America Albert Murray Edition #2)
Library of America, 9781598535617, 977pp.
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
One of the leading cultural critics of his generation, Albert Murray was also the author of an extraordinary quartet of semi-autobiographical novels, vivid impressionistic portraits of black life in the Deep South in the 1920s and '30s and in prewar New York City. Train Whistle Guitar (1974) introduces Murray's recurring narrator and protagonist, Scooter, a "Southern jackrabbit raised in a briarpatch" too nimble ever to receive a scratch. Scooter's education in books, music, and the blue-steel bent-note blues-ballad realities of American life continues in The Spyglass Tree (1991), Murray's "Portrait of the Artist as a Tuskegee Undergraduate." The Seven League Boots (1996) follows Scooter as he becomes a bass player in a touring band not unlike Duke Ellington's, and The Magic Keys (2005), in which Scooter at last finds his true vocation as a writer in Greenwich Village, is an elegaic reverie on an artist's life. Editors Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Paul Devlin round out the volume with a selection of Murray's remarkable poems, including 11 unpublished pieces from his notebooks, and two rare examples of his work as a short story writer.
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
About the Author
Paul Devlin teaches English at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and has published essays and criticism in many periodicals. He is the editor of Murray Talks Music: Albert Murray on Jazz and Blues (2016) and Rifftide: The Life and Opinions of Papa Jo Jones, as told to Albert Murray (2011), a finalist for the Jazz Journalists Association's book award.