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Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings of D. T. Suzuki. Garden City. 1956. Anchor/Doubleday. 294 pages.  paperback.  Edited by William Barrett. Cover design by Seong Moy. Typography by Joseph Ascherl.   

 

anchor zen buddhism a90FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Buddhism crossed from India to China in the 6th century A.D. and confronted the earthy and practical Chinese spirit with the imaginative and speculative spirit of India. The encounter is one of the most extraordinary events in history and makes one of the truly phenomenal chapters in the record of religion and culture. Translated into the Chinese idiom, Buddhism became one of China’s most potent spiritual and cultural forces. One expression of Chinese Buddhism known in China as Ch’an and, when it crossed to Japan in the 12th century as Zen, inspired some of the most beautiful painting, sculpture, and literature that have come from the Far East. Even more it presented to the world a form of religion unique in its emphasis on the freedom and self-realization of the individual. For this reason, Zen Buddhism as it has been discovered by the West in our time emerges as one of the great challenges to Western philosophy, psychology, and religion. The present volume, composed of the work of D. T. Suzuki, Zen’s chief exponent in English, and presented to Western readers by William Barrett, is intended to introduce the general reader to the history and spirit of Zen.

 

Suzuki D T   Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki (1870–1966) was a Japanese-born scholar and translator who over the course of the twentieth century came to be regarded as one of the leading authorities on Zen Buddhism. Suzuki was the author of more than a hundred works on the subject in both Japanese and English, and was most instrumental in bringing the teachings of Zen Buddhism to the attention of the Western world. His many books in English include An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, Essays in Zen Buddhism, Living by Zen, and Zen and Japanese Culture.

 

 

 

 

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Poetry For My People by Henry Dumas. Carbondale. 1970. Southern Illinois University Press. hardcover. 184 pages.  Preface by Imamu Ameer Baraka Leroi Jones. Introduction by Jay Wright. Edited by Hale Chatfield & Eugene Redmond. 0809304430.

0809304430FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The poems of Henry Dumas demonstrate concisely what an African heritage can mean to an American writer. The poems in this collection of Dumas’s poetry, published and unpublished at the time of his death in 1968 at the age of thirty-four,. represent a diversity of themes and techniques. Even amid this considerable variety, however, we can distinguish themes and devices which occur with sufficient regularity to become characteristic. Naturally, the plight of the black man in America is first among Dumas’s thematic concerns. In this regard, the poet’s chief metaphor involves a living entity (a tree, for example) transplanted from African to American soil, which fails to nourish it properly and even threatens to poison it to death—a fate from which it is able to defend itself by relying upon the African heritage (spirits, gods, ancestors) it recalls within its very cells. To provide the appropriate tone and atmosphere for such poems as these, Dumas makes frequent use of African place names and often employs Swahili or even Arabic words. To protest, as some readers are inclined to do, that such names and words often appear in unlikely or fantastic contexts is to miss the essential point: namely, that the fundamental ‘truth’ in these poems is a strong attachment not merely to the African past itself but also to the emotions, attitudes, and predispositions which it continually engenders and enriches. It is true, of course, that black Americans have for years been giving careful and scholarly attention to the matter of their African heritage. Dumas’s poetry may be viewed, in part, as an assertion of that heritage and an exploration of its effects.

 

Dumas Henry  HENRY DUMAS, a prize-winning writer, was born in Sweet Home, Arkansas, on July 20, 1934, and moved to New York City when he was ten years old. His life was ended abruptly on May 23, 1968, by bullets from the gun of a New York Transit policeman in the subway. Reasons for the killing have remained vague and unsatisfactory. Before his death Dumas had been active on the ‘little’ magazine circuit as well as in the initial opening scene of the Black Arts Movement, publishing his stories and poems in Negro Digest/Black World, Rutgers’ Anthologist, the Hiram Poetry Review, Umbra and Black Fire. Since his death his reputation and writings have attracted a large and international community of readers. On the heels of the publication of ARK OF BONES AND OTHER STORIES and PLAY EBONY PLAY IVORY, writers, artists and students gathered in several largely Black areas of the country to read from the works and proclaim the genius of Dumas. Among the anthologies and periodicals which have printed his work since his death are: Black Scholar, Essence, Brothers and Sisters, Confrontation, Galaxy of Black Writing, You Better Believe it, Open Poetry and Giant Talk: An Anthology of Third World Writings. Just before his death, Dumas was employed by Southern Illinois University’s Experiment in Higher Education in East St. Louis.

Imamu Ameer Baraka (LeRoi Jones), who has provided a Preface to this volume, is one of America’s most esteemed black writers. His best known books are Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note; Blues People; and The Dead Lecturer. In 1964 he won the Obie Award for his play Dutchman, which was made into a motion picture in 1967. Recently he has been giving readings and lectures on college and university campuses throughout the United States.

Jay Wright, who has written an Introduction to this volume, has studied at the University of California (Berkeley), Union Theological Seminary, and Rutgers University. He is a widely published poet and playwright and has held several fellowships. Recently he has served as a reader in the Academy of American Poets Schools Program in New York City and as poet in-residence at Tougaloo College and Talladega College.

Hale Chatfield, coeditor of this volume with Eugene Redmond, is a member of the English faculty at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio. He is founder and editor of the Hiram Poetry Review, and the author of two book-length collections of poetry. His work appears regularly in literary periodicals. In July 1968 he was named chairman of the Poetry Advisory Panel to the Ohio Arts Council.

Eugene Redmond, currently Writer-in-Residence at Oberlin College, has won several prizes for poetry. He holds the B.A. degree in English Literature from Southern Illinois University and the M.A. degree from Washington University. This year October House will publish his first book-length collection of poems, THE EYE IN THE CEILING.

 

 

 

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Abominable Earthman by Frederik Pohl. New York. 1963. Ballantine Books. 159 pages.  paperback.   

 

ballantine abominable earthman f685FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Frederik Pohl writes top-flight science fiction in so many areas that it is sometimes difficult to select what is best among such thickets of barbed humor. Nevertheless in the course of ten years, Ballantine Books has managed to publish six collections of pure, undiluted Frederik Pohl:  ALTERNATING CURRENTS, THE CASE AGAINST TOMORROW, TOMORROW TIMES SEVEN, THE MAN WHO ATE THE WORLD, TURN LEFT AT THURSDAY, and now THE ABOMINABLE EARTHMAN. Anyone lucky enough to have obtained the above now owns many stones which have become classics in the field (not to mention his novels, since they are mentioned inside). And, for three good reasons, there will be more. Because Mr. Pohl continues to write.   Because we are firmly devoted to the best in science fiction. And because we are particularly enchanted with a future which envisions us wandering hand-in-hand with Fred Pohl into the slightly acidulated sunset of his wonderful imagination. 

 Pohl Frederik Frederik George Pohl, Jr. (November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013) was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning more than seventy-five years—from his first published work, the 1937 poem ‘Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna’, to the 2011 novel All the Lives He Led and articles and essays published in 2012. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy and its sister magazine If; the latter won three successive annual Hugo Awards as the year's best professional magazine. His 1977 novel Gateway won four ‘year's best novel’ awards: the Hugo voted by convention participants, the Locus voted by magazine subscribers, the Nebula voted by American science fiction writers, and the juried academic John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He won the Campbell Memorial Award again for the 1984 collection of novellas Years of the City, one of two repeat winners during the first forty years. For his 1979 novel Jem, Pohl won a U.S. National Book Award in the one-year category Science Fiction. It was a finalist for three other years' best novel awards. He won four Hugo and three Nebula Awards. The Science Fiction Writers of America named Pohl its 12th recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award in 1993 and he was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1998, its third class of two dead and two living writers. Pohl won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2010, for his blog, ‘The Way the Future Blogs’.

 

 

 

 

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The Casanova Fable by William Gerhardi and Hugh Kingsmill. London. 1934. Jarrolds. 223 pages.  hardcover. Cover illustration by P. Youngman Carter.  Illustrated by P. Youngman Carter.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   An absorbing character study of the world’s greatest lover, set against a background of Venetian gondolas; the lilting strains of the Waltz; the eternal romance of Paris; and the carefree laughter of Madrid and London, Rome and St. Petersburg over 150 years ago. This volume is a guide to all readers in approaching a biography which fairly represents the life of men and women addicted to the pursuit of pleasure and a life of adventure. Delightfully illustrated by P. Youngman Carter with eight beautifully coloured plates.

 

  William Alexander Gerhardie (1895-1977) was a British (Anglo-Russian) novelist and playwright. Gerhardie (or Gerhardi: he added the ‘e’ in later years as an affectation) was one of the most critically acclaimed English novelists of the 1920s (Evelyn Waugh told him ‘I have talent, but you have genius’). H.G Wells was a ferocious champion of his work. His first novel Futility, was written while he was at Cambridge and drew on his experiences in Russia fighting (or attempting to fight) the Bolsheviks, along with his childhood experiences visiting pre-revolutionary Russia. Some say that it was the first work in English to fully explore the theme of ‘waiting’ later made famous by Samuel Beckett in WAITING FOR GODOT, but it is probably more apt to recognize a common comic nihilism between those two figures. His next novel, THE POLYGLOTS is probably his masterpiece (although some argue for DOOM). Again it deals with Russia (Gerhardie was strongly influenced by the tragi-comic style of Russian writers such as Chekhov who he wrote a study of while in College). He collaborated with Hugh Kingsmill on the biography ‘The Casanova Fable’, his friendship with Hugh being both a source of conflict over women and a great intellectual stimulus. After World War II Gerhardie’s star waned, and he became unfashionable, and although he continued to write, he had nothing published after 1939. After a period of poverty-stricken oblivion, he lived to see two ‘definitive collected works’ published by Macdonald (in 1947-49 and then revised again in 1970-74). More recently, both Prion and New Directions Press have been reissuing his works. Asked how to say his name, he told The Literary Digest ‘Pronounced jer (as Ger in Gerald) hardy, with the accent on the a: jer-har’dy. This is the way I and my relatives pronounce it, tho I am told it is incorrect. Philologists are of the opinion that it should be pronounced with the g as in Gertrude. I believe they are right. I, however, cling to the family habit of mispronouncing it. But I do so without obstinacy. If the world made it worth my while I would side with the multitude.’ (Charles Earle Funk, What’s the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936)..

  Hugh Kingsmill Lunn (21 November 1889 – 15 May 1949), who dropped his last name for professional purposes, was a versatile British writer and journalist. Writers Arnold Lunn and Brian Lunn were his brothers. Hugh Kingsmill Lunn was born in London and educated at Harrow School and the University of Oxford. After graduating he worked for a brief period for Frank Harris, who edited the publication Hearth and Home in 1911/2, alongside Enid Bagnold; Kingsmill later wrote a debunking biography of Harris, after the spell had worn off. He began fighting in the British Army in World War I in 1916, and was captured in France the next year. After the war, he began to write, initially both science fiction and crime fiction. In the 1930s he was a contributor to the English Review; later he wrote a good deal of non-fiction for this periodical's successor, the English Review Magazine. His large output includes criticism, essays and biographies, parodies and humour, as well as novels, and edited a number of anthologies. He is remembered for saying 'friends are God's apology for relations', with a notable flavour of Ambrose Bierce. The dictum was subsequently used by Richard Ingrams for the title of his memoir of Kingsmill's friendships with Hesketh Pearson and Malcolm Muggeridge, two intimate friends whom he influenced greatly.Muggeridge drew a darker attitude from Kingsmill's sardonic wit. Dawnist was Kingsmill's word for those infected with unrealistic or utopian idealism — the enemy as far as he was concerned. Kingmill’s works include: The Will To Love (1919) novel, The Dawn's Delay (1924) stories, Blondel (1927), Matthew Arnold (1928) biography, After Puritanism, 1850-1900 (1929), An Anthology Of Invective And Abuse (1929), The Return of William Shakespeare (1929) novel, Behind Both Lines (1930) autobiographical, More Invective (1930) anthology, The Worst of Love (1931) anthology, After Puritanism (1931), Frank Harris (1932) biography, The Table Of Truth (1933), Samuel Johnson (1933) biography, The Sentimental Journey (1934) biography of Charles Dickens, The Casanova Fable: A Satirical Revaluation (1934) with William Gerhardi, What They Said At The Time (1935) anthology, Parents and Children (1936) anthology; Brave Old World (1936) humour, with Malcolm Muggeridge, A Pre-View Of Next Year's News (1937) humour, with Malcolm Muggeridge, Skye High: The Record Of A Tour Through Scotland In The Wake Of The Samuel Johnson And James Boswell.(1937) travel, with Hesketh Pearson, Made On Earth (1937) anthology on marriage, The English Genius: a survey of the English achievement and character (1938) editor, essays by W. R. Inge, Hilaire Belloc, Hesketh Pearson, William Gerhardi, E .S. P. Haynes, Douglas Woodruff, Charles Petrie, J. F. C. Fuller, Alfred Noyes, Rose Macaulay, Brian Lunn, Rebecca West, K. Hare, T. W. Earp, D. H. Lawrence (1938) biography, Next Year's News (1938) humour, with Malcolm Muggeridge, Courage (1939) anthology, Johnson Without Boswell: A Contemporary Portrait of Samuel Johnson (1940) editor, The Fall (1940), This Blessed Plot (1942) travel, with Hesketh Pearson, The Poisoned Crown (1944) essays on genealogies, Talking Of Dick Whittington (1947) travel, with Hesketh Pearson), The Progress Of A Biographer (1949), The High Hill of the Muses (1955) anthology, The Best of Hugh Kingsmill: Selections from his Writings (1970) edited by Michael Holroyd, Bernard Shaw, His Life and Personality.

 

 

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The Reefs of Space by Frederik Pohl and Jack Williamson. New York. 1964. ballantine reefs of space u2172 Books. 188 pages. September 1964. paperback.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   During the third millennium A.D. Earth is ruled by a computer that has replaced freedom with order. And the world is ticking over efficiently. Boringly hut efficiently. Then things go wrong and Machine Major Boysie Gann has to find out what. The trouble is coming from the Reefs of Space, where a group Of Earth people has been exiled. Putting the Sun out was just one of their annoying little tricks. But the more Machine Major Boysie Gann finds out, the more he becomes confused. Freedom, for instance, was banned a long time before he was born. But, from what’s happening in the Reefs of Space, it seems to have its good points.

 

 

 

 

Pohl Frederik and Williamson Jack

  Frederik George Pohl, Jr. (November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013) was an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning more than seventy-five years—from his first published work, the 1937 poem ‘Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna’, to the 2011 novel All the Lives He Led and articles and essays published in 2012. From about 1959 until 1969, Pohl edited Galaxy and its sister magazine If; the latter won three successive annual Hugo Awards as the year's best professional magazine. His 1977 novel Gateway won four ‘year's best novel’ awards: the Hugo voted by convention participants, the Locus voted by magazine subscribers, the Nebula voted by American science fiction writers, and the juried academic John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He won the Campbell Memorial Award again for the 1984 collection of novellas Years of the City, one of two repeat winners during the first forty years. For his 1979 novel Jem, Pohl won a U.S. National Book Award in the one-year category Science Fiction. It was a finalist for three other years' best novel awards. He won four Hugo and three Nebula Awards. The Science Fiction Writers of America named Pohl its 12th recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award in 1993 and he was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1998, its third class of two dead and two living writers. Pohl won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2010, for his blog, ‘The Way the Future Blogs’.

  John Stewart Williamson (April 29, 1908 – November 10, 2006), who wrote as Jack Williamson, was an American science fiction writer, often called the "Dean of Science Fiction" after the death of Robert Heinlein in 1988. Early in his career he sometimes used the pseudonyms Will Stewart and Nils O. Sonderlund.

 

 

 

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Singing The Master: The Emergence Of African America Culture In The Plantation South by Roger D. Abrahams. New York. 1992. Pantheon Books. hardcover. 342 pages. May 1992.  Jacket art: ‘Study for Aspects of Negro Life: An Idyll of the Deep South,’ 1934, tempera on paper, by Aaron Douglas. Jacket design by Marjorie Anderson. 0394555910.

 

0394555910FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In the American South before the Civil War, a harvest celebration developed surrounding the shucking of the corn each autumn. This event brought together both slave and master, with the slaves encouraged to perform. Thanks to the reports of visitors and foreigners, the corn- shucking ceremony became a representative scene of plantation life. In SINGING THE MASTER, Roger Abrahams reconstructs the genesis of the celebration - and offers a controversial and radical interpretation of the occasion. Tracing the origins of the ceremony to the English custom of harvest home Abrahams shows how the slaves, encouraged to express their African cultural heritage, transformed a chance for performance and self-expression into an opportunity for moral and social commentary – an occasion to mock and ridicule their masters. Abrahams also analyzes the corn-shucking ceremony’s fascinating dual cultural legacy - how the African American performance style influenced white culture as it was adapted and - imitated by whites in minstrel and vaudeville shows; and also how the bardic role of the performer, the subversive treatment of authority, and interplay with the audience are present in African American performance style today.

Abrahams Roger D  Roger D. Abrahams is Professor of Folklore and Folklife at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a past president of the American Folklore Society, a former chairman of the English Department at the University of Texas, and a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar. Professor Abrahams has done fieldwork in a range of African American communities from a ghetto neighborhood in Philadelphia to the Caribbean. He has also studied arid written about Anglo-American folk songs and children’s lore.

 

 

 

 

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Without Regard To Race: The Other Martin Robison Delany by Tunde Adeleke. Jackson. 2004. University Press Of Mississippi. hardcover. 274 pages.  Photograph of Martin Delany courtesy of the USA and Military History institute in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion. 1578065984.

 

1578065984FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Before Marcus Garvey and W. E. B. Du Bois lifted the banner for black liberation and independence, Martin Robison Delany (1812-1885) was at the forefront. He was the first black appointed as a combat major in the Union army during the Civil War. He was a Pan-Africanist and a crusader for black freedom and equality in the nineteenth century. For the past three decades, however, this precursor has been regarded only as a militant Black Nationalist and racial essentialist.’ To his discredit, his ideas, programs, and accomplishments have been maintained as models of uncompromising militancy. Classifying Delany solely for his militant nationalist rhetoric crystalizes him into a one-dimensional figure. This study of his life and thought, the first critical biography of the pivotal African American thinker written by a historian, challenges the distorting portrait and, arguing that Delany reflects the spectrum of the nineteenth-century black independence movement, makes a strong case for bringing him closer to the center position of the political mainstream. He displayed a far greater degree of optimism about the future of blacks in America than has been acknowledged, and he faced pragmatic socio-economic realities that made it possible for him to be flexible for compromise. Focusing on neglected phases in his intellectual life, this book reveals Delany as a personality who was neither uncompromisingly militant nor dogmatically conservative. It argues that his complex strategies for racial integration were much more focused on America than on separateness and nationalism. The extreme characterization of him that has been prominent in the contemporary mind reflects ideologies of scholars who came of age during the civil rights era, the period that initially inspired great interest in his life. This new look at him paints a portrait of the ‘other Delany,’ a thinker able to reach across racial boundaries to offer compromise and dialogue.

 Adeleke Tunde

 

  TUNDE ADELEKE, professor of history and director of African American studies at the University of Montana, Missoula, is the author of UnAfrican Americans: Nineteenth-Century Black Nationalists and the Civilizing Mission and editor of Booker T Washington: Interpretive Essays. He is currently editing for publication a collection of Martin Delany’s post-Civil War papers.

 

 

 

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Libretto For The Republic Of Liberia by Melvin B. Tolson. New York. 1970. Collier Books/Macmillan. paperback. 80 pages. 07090.  

 

collier libretto for the republic of liberia 07090FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Two hundred years after the Mayflower anchored off Plymouth Rock, the black Pilgrim Fathers sailed aboard the Elizabeth from America to West Africa in search of freedom. In this epic masterpiece Melvin Tolson celebrates the founding of the Republic of Liberia by expatriate American blacks in 1847. Although Tolson’s dramatic brilliance has invited comparison with Hart Crane’s classic, The Bridge, his Libretto stands alone as a work of depth, power, vision and originality: a major poetic statement of the ordeal and inspiration that drove the black Pilgrims back to Africa to create Liberia, ‘Black Lazarus risen from the white man’s grave.’ ‘.  there is a great gift for language. a profound historical sense and a first-rate intelligence at work in this poem from first to last.  For the first time, it seems to me, a Negro poet has assimilated completely the full poetic language of his time and, by implication, the language of the Anglo-American poetic tradition.  In the end I found that I was reading Libretto for the Republic of Liberia not because the poem has a Negro subject but because it is about the world of all men. And this subject is not merely asserted; it is embodied in a rich and complex language. and realized in terms of poetic imagination.’ —From the Preface by Allen Tate. ‘.  Tolson has established a new dimension for American poetry.’ - John Ciardi. ‘.  reaches extraordinary rhetorical heights.’ - San Francisco Chronicle.

 Tolson Melvin B

 

MELVIN B. TOLSON was born in Missouri and educated at Fisk, Lincoln and Columbia Universities. He was professor of creative literature at Langston University and the author of RENDEZVOUS WITH AMERICA and HARLEM GALLERY, published by Collier Books. He died in 1966.

 

 

 

 

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The Short Fiction Of Charles W. Chesnutt by Charles W. Chesnutt. Washington DC. 1974. Howard University Press. hardcover. 422 pages.  Jacket design by Roy E. La Grone. Edited & With An Introduction by Sylvia Lyons Render. 0882580124.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

0882580124   Collected in this volume are the 1889--1905 letters of one of the first African-American literary artists to cross the ‘color line’ into the de facto segregated American publishing industry of the turn of the century. Selected for inclusion are those chronicling the rise of Charles W. Chesnutt (1858--1932), an attorney and businessman in Cleveland, Ohio, who achieved prominence as a novelist, short story writer, essayist, and lecturer despite the obstacles faced by a man of color during the ‘Jim Crow’ period. In his insightful commentaries on his own situation, Chesnutt provides as well a special perspective on life-at-large in America during the Gilded Age, the ‘gay ‘90s’ (which were not so gay for African Americans), and the Progressive era. Like his black correspondents-Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, T. Thomas Fortune, and William M. Trotter-he was one of the major commentators on what was then termed the ‘Negro Problem.’ His most distinguished novels, The House Behind the Cedars (1900) and The Marrow of Tradition (1901), were published by major ‘white’ presses of the time not only did his editors and publishers but then-preeminent black and white critics greet these literary protests against racism as proof of the intellectual and artistic excellence of which a long-oppressed people were capable when afforded equal opportunity. Since the 1960s, when the rediscovery of his genius began in earnest, Chesnutt has received even more recognition than he enjoyed by the early 1900s. Joseph R. McElrath, Jr., and Robert C. Leitz, III, have surveyed every collection of Chesnutt’s papers and those of his correspondents in order to reconstruct the story of his most vital years as an author. Their introduction contextualizes the letters in light of Chesnutt biography and the less-than-promising prospects faced by a would-be literary artist of his racial background. Their encyclopedic annotations explaining contemporary events to which Chesnutt responds and what was then transpiring in both black and white cultural environments illuminate not only Chesnutt’s character but those of many now unfamiliar figures who also contributed to what Chesnutt termed the ‘cause.’ Provided in this first-ever edition of Chesnutt’s letters is a detailed portrait of one of the pioneers in the African-American literary tradition and a panorama of American life a century ago.

Chesnutt Charles W Charles Waddell Chesnutt (June 20, 1858 – November 17, 1932) was an American author, essayist, political activist and lawyer, best known for his novels and short stories exploring complex issues of racial and social identity in the post-Civil War South. The legacy of slavery and interracial relations had resulted in many free people of color who had attained education before the war, as well as slaves and freedmen of mixed race. Two of his books were adapted as silent films in 1926 and 1927 by the director and producer Oscar Micheaux. Chesnutt also established what became a highly successful legal stenography business, which provided his main income.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Echo Tree: The Collected Short Fiction Of Henry Dumas by Henry Dumas. Minneapolis. 2003. Coffee House Press. paperback. 388 pages.  Cover design by Aaron King. Edited & With A Foreword by Eugene Redmond. Critical Introduction by John S. Wright. 1566891493.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

1566891493   Henry Dumas’s fabulist fiction is a masterful synthesis of myth and religion, culture and nature, mask and identity. From the Deep South to the simmering streets of Harlem, his characters embark on real, magical, and mythic quests. With an astonishing ear for language, Dumas creates a mythology of the psychological, spiritual, and political development of African American culture by interweaving Christian metaphor, African cosmologies, music, black diasporan folklore, and America’s history of slavery and endemic racism. For the first time, all of his short fiction is gathered here, including several previously unpublished stories. ‘[Henry Dumas] had completed work, the quality and quantity of which are almost never achieved in several lifetimes.  He was brilliant.  [He] was able to penetrate, almost like an archeologist, [the] varied experiences of black people of all ages.’ – Toni Morrison. ‘Each sentence a revelation of experience.  [A]ctual black art, real, man, and stunning.’ – Amiri Baraka. ‘Henry Dumas’s.  fiction is among the most significant produced by a writer of any race in this country in the 1960s.  [H]is reputation and standing among American writers and critics [approaches] mythic proportions.’ – Quincy Troupe. ‘The first time I read Henry Dumas’s Ark of Bones, I felt the hair rising on my head.’ – Margaret Walker Alexander.

 

 

Dumas Henry  HENRY DUMAS, a prize-winning writer, was born in Sweet Home, Arkansas, on July 20, 1934, and moved to New York City when he was ten years old. His life was ended abruptly on May 23, 1968, by bullets from the gun of a New York Transit policeman in the subway. Reasons for the killing have remained vague and unsatisfactory. Before his death Dumas had been active on the ‘little’ magazine circuit as well as in the initial opening scene of the Black Arts Movement, publishing his stories and poems in Negro Digest/Black World, Rutgers’ Anthologist, the Hiram Poetry Review, Umbra and Black Fire. Since his death his reputation and writings have attracted a large and international community of readers. On the heels of the publication of ARK OF BONES AND OTHER STORIES and PLAY EBONY PLAY IVORY, writers, artists and students gathered in several largely Black areas of the country to read from the works and proclaim the genius of Dumas. Among the anthologies and periodicals which have printed his work since his death are: Black Scholar, Essence, Brothers and Sisters, Confrontation, Galaxy of Black Writing, You Better Believe it, Open Poetry and Giant Talk: An Anthology of Third World Writings. Just before his death, Dumas was employed by Southern Illinois University’s Experiment in Higher Education in East St. Louis.

 

 

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In The African-American Grain by John E. Callahan. Urbana. 1988. University Of Illinois Press. hardcover. 281 pages.  Cover painting - ‘Untitled’ by Oliver Jackson, 1979. 0252014596.

 

 

0252014596FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   In the African-American Grain is a powerful exploration of the impact of African-American oral storytelling techniques on modern and contemporary fiction. Reading literature in the call-and-response tradition, John F. Callahan shows how African-American writers including Charles Chesnutt, Jean Toomer, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Ernest Gaines, and Alice Walker have used the forms and forces of this uniquely participatory discourse to establish not only a potential relationship between storyteller and audience but also a potential for change. In a new preface Callahan comments on how the tradition of call-and-response has continued to develop among African-American writers as well as writers of other backgrounds.

 

 

 

 

Callahan John E  "I worked for a good four plus years on Ellion's second novel and, with Mrs. Ellison's help and Random House's, came up with "Juneteenth." —John Callahan. John Callahan was a graduate student researching the writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald when a literary tangent led him along a different path. In the end, it was the work of writer Ralph Ellison, not Fitzgerald, that would leave a lifelong impression on Callahan. Ellison died in 1994, leaving behind 2,000 pages of unpublished writing, an expectation that there was a second novel coming and his widow, Fanny, who eventually asked Callahan to be the literary executor of Ellison’s work. From this archive of work that Ellison left—some of it on scraps of paper and napkins—came Ellison’s posthumous second novel, Juneteenth, and Three Days After the Shooting, both edited by Callahan, the latter novel with his former Lewis and Clark student, Adam Bradley. John Callahan is the Morgan S. Odell Professor of Humanities at Lewis and Clark College. Callahan’s own writing include In the African-American Grain, A Man You Could Love, and the upcoming The Learning Room.

 

 

 

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Blood On The Forge by William Attaway. New York. 1991. Monthly Review Press. paperback. 315 pages.  Cover illustration: Detail of a drawing by Thomas Hart Benton. Cover design by Linda Mason Briggs. Forewqord by John Oliver Killens. Afterword by Richard Yarborough. 0853457220.

 

 

0853457220FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   BLOOD ON THE FORGE is the powerful story of three black brothers who leave the rural South for the steel mills of Pittsburgh during the 1920s. Forced by racism and economic hardship to abandon their simple sharecropping life in the red-clay hills of Kentucky they follow promises of a better life in the industrial north. From the moment they step onto the freight train heading north, however they discover a world of poverty and exploitation as brutal as the one they are escaping. Amid the toil and sweat of their life in the gray factory town, they also discover a new form of racism - a racism manipulated by management to split the working class along racial lines and turn the union against itself. The afterword examines the life and career of William Attaway, as well as the contemporary response to the book, putting this in the context of the naturalist protest writing of the period, from Richard Wright NATIVE SON to John Steinbeck’s GRAPES OF WRATH.

 

 

 

Attaway William  William Attaway was born in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1911, and moved north to Chicago with his family at the age of five. His first novel, LET ME BREATHE THUNDER, was published in 1939 when he was living and working in New York City, and was followed by BLOOD ON THE FORGE in 1941. This was to be his last novel, and he spent the remainder of his career writing for radio, film, and television. He died in Los Angeles in 1986. John Oliver Killens is a novelist and essayist, and author of YOUNGBLOOD and AND THEN WE HEARD THUNDER. Richard Yarborough is an associate professor in the Department of English and a faculty research associate with the Center for Afro- American Studies at UCLA He has published essays and reviews on Afro-American literature and is completing a study of early Afro- American fiction.

 

 

 

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Les Blancs: The Collected Last Plays of Lorraine Hansberry by Lorraine Hansberry. New York. 1972. Random House. hardcover. 372 pages. June 1972.  Jacket design by Bill Allen. 039446480x.

 

 

039446480xFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   ‘A little more than a month before the assassination of Malcolm X, Lorraine Hansberry died; she was thirty-four. Somehow it seems like more than coincidence that the two should die within less than a month and a half of each other and scarcely nine months before the ‘deferred dream’ exploded in the streets of Watts. Each of them possessed an uncommon prescience They knew that a plague was about to be loosed upon the land.  ‘ So writes Julius Lester in the introduction to this collection of Lorraine Hansberry’s lost works. At the time of her death in 1965, Lorraine Hansberry’s reputation as one of America’s leading playwrights rested primarily on one play, A RAISIN IN THE SUN, a major work of our time. ‘Never before in the entire history of the American theater had so much of the truth of black people’s lives been seen on the stage,’ wrote James Baldwin concerning it. Until the off-Broadway production in 1969 of TO BE YOUNG, GIFTED AND BLACK, Miss Hansberry had become a part of theatrical history, which is to say, almost forgotten, It was assumed that nothing in her work was relevant to the sixties. But that assumption could only have been made by those who had not returned to it but retained only shadowy and impressionistic memories of early productions. Far from being outdated and irrelevant to the black struggles of today, Ms. Hansberry’s writing anticipates and illuminates the struggles which black people in this land are carrying on right now. Her vision - what Mr. Lester calls her ‘gift to make us see the extraordinary in those who society had decreed were merely ordinary’ — is one of affirmation, and not the despair into which so many artists fall. She was a political radical, whose politics were not dogma but oneness with her people and all people and whose ‘genius,’ Lester writes, ‘lies in her ability to meld her revolutionary commitment with her artistic integrity.  Lorraine Hansberry is the black artist who lived beyond anger, which is not to say that she wasn’t angry. Her plays are an expression of rage against the outrages perpetrated against humanity. Anger did not define her art, but motivated and informed it. The quality which pervades her plays is compassion. She didn’t make the mistake of hating white people. She hated what people did to each other’ - and above all hated the social order that caused inhuman acts. For the young writer - black and white – she stands as the quintessential model, not only for her vision, but for her skill and integrity in the expression of that vision.’ Thus Lorraine Hansberry’s writings can be seen as an important prophetic journey into a time when all men, regardless of race or creed or color, can solve their conflicts humanely and treat each other with compassion. In this volume Robert Nemiroff, Miss Hansberry’s literary executor, has collected and edited her last works, giving for each the critical background necessary to place its importance in the canon of her work. LES BLANCS, which opened on Broadway in 1970, is a penetrating exploration of the making of a black revolutionary and is considered by many to be Ms. Hansberry’s best and most significant play. WHAT USE ARE FLOWERS?, which deals with the perpetuation of the human race, is a beautiful example of Ms. Hansberry’s affirmation of life. The third play in this volume, THE DRINKING GOURD, is a television drama commissioned – but never produced - by NBC. It is an incisive picture of slavery which Ms. Hansberry described as ‘a serious treatment of family relationships by a slave-owning family and their slaves.’ The history of that controversial NBC series, which Mr. Nemiroff provides, illuminates the battlefield in which Lorraine Hansberry wrote with enormous perseverance and extraordinary gifts.

 

 

 Hansberry Lorraine Lorraine Vivian Hansberry (May 19, 1930 – January 12, 1965) was an American playwright and writer. Hansberry inspired Nina Simone's song 'To Be Young, Gifted and Black'. She was the first black woman to write a play performed on Broadway. Her best known work, the play A Raisin in the Sun, highlights the lives of Black Americans living under racial segregation in Chicago. Hansberry's family had struggled against segregation, challenging a restrictive covenant and eventually provoking the Supreme Court case Hansberry v. Lee. The title of the play was taken from the poem 'Harlem' by Langston Hughes: 'What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?' After she moved to New York City, Hansberry worked at the Pan-Africanist newspaper Freedom, where she dealt with intellectuals such as Paul Robeson and W. E. B. Du Bois. Much of her work during this time concerned the African struggle for liberation and their impact on the world. Hansberry has been identified as a lesbian, and sexual freedom is an important topic in several of her works. She died of cancer at the age of 34.

 

 

 

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Shadow and Act by Ralph Ellison. New York. 1964. Random House. hardcover. 317 pages. Dustjacket design by Howard Gray.  

 

 

shadow and actFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   SHADOW AND ACT is the first book in more than a decade by the author of INVISIBLE MAN. It contains the best and most provocative of Ralph Ellison’s essays written between 1945 - when The Antioch Review declined to publish his review of Myrdal’s AN AMERICAN DILEMMA - and 1964 - when ‘Hidden Name and Complex Fate’ was delivered as a lecture at the Library of Congress. ‘The pieces collected here,’ Mr. Ellison writes in his Introduction, ‘are concerned with three general themes: with literature and folklore, with Negro musical expression – especially jazz and the blues - and with the complex relationship between the Negro American subculture and the North American culture as a whole. They represent. in all their modesty, some of the necessary effort which a writer of my background must make in order to possess the meaning of his experience.  These essays are a witness of that which I have known and that which I have tried and am still trying to confront. The very least I can say about their value is that they performed the grateful function of making it unnecessary to clutter up my fiction with half-formed or outrageously wrong-headed ideas. At best they are an embodiment of a conscious attempt to confront, to peer into, the shadow of my past and to remind myself of the complex resources for imaginative creation which are my heritage.’

 

Ellison Ralph  RALPH ELLISON was born in Oklahoma City in 1914. He is the author of INVISIBLE MAN (1952), which won the National Book Award and became one of the most important and influential postwar American novels. He published two volumes of nonfiction, SHADOW AND ACT (1964) and GOING TO THE TERRITORY (1986), which, together with unpublished speeches and writings, were brought together as THE COLLECTED ESSAYS OF RALPH ELLISON IN 1995. For more than forty years before his death in 1994, Ralph Ellison lived with his wife, Fanny McConnell, on Riverside Drive in Harlem in New York City.

 

 

 

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Lyrics Of Sunshine & Shadow: The Tragic Courtship & Marriage Of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore by Eleanor Alexander. New York. 2002. New York University Press. hardcover. 243 pages.  ABOUT THE COVER: Paul Laurence Dunbar, C. 1900. Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society. Alice Moore Dunbar, C. 1900. Alice Dunbar-Nelson Papers, University of Delaware library, Newark Delaware.  0814706967.

 

0814706967FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   On February 10, 1906 Alice Ruth Moore, estranged wife of renowned early- twentieth-century poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, boarded a streetcar, settled comfortably into her seat, and opened her newspaper to learn of her husband’s death the day before. Paul Laurence Dunbar, son of former slaves, whom Frederick Douglass had dubbed ‘the most promising young colored man in America,’ was dead from tuberculosis at the age of 33. LYRICS OF SUNSHINE AND SHADOW traces the tempestuous romance of America’s most noted African American literary couple. Drawing on a variety of love letters, diaries, journals, and autobiographies, Eleanor Alexander vividly recounts Dunbar and Moore’s tumultuous affair, from a courtship conducted almost entirely through letters and an elopement brought on by Dunbar’s brutal drunken rape of Moore, through their passionate marriage and its eventual violent dissolution in 1902. Moore, once having left Dunbar, rejected his every entreaty to return to him, responding to his many letters only once, with a blunt, one-word telegram (‘No’). This is a remarkable story of tragic romance among African American elites struggling to define themselves and their relationships within the context of post-slavery America. As such, it provides a timely examination of the ways in which cultural ideology and politics shape and complicate conceptions of romantic love. ‘Tells a fascinating tale of two compelling figures whose lives were intriguing, at times harrowing, and in many ways tragic. At the same time, Alexander investigates a broader topic - the history of African American intimacy - yet to be explored in depth.  A riveting narrative.’ - MARTHA HODES, New York University.

 

 

ELEANOR ALEXANDER is Assistant Professor of History at Georgia Institute of Technology.

 

 

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Three Days Before The Shooting by Ralph Ellison. New York. 2010. Modern Library. hardcover. 1101 pages.  Edited by John F. Callahan & Adam Bradley. 9780375759536.

 

 

9780375759536FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   At his death in 1994, Ralph Ellison left behind roughly two thousand pages of his unfinished second novel, which he had spent nearly four decades writing. Long awaited, it was to have been the work Ellison intended to follow his masterpiece, Invisible Man. Five years later, Random House published Juneteenth, drawn from the central narrative of Ellison's unfinished epic. Three Days Before the Shooting. gathers together in one volume, for the first time, all the parts of that planned opus, including three major sequences never before published. Set in the frame of a deathbed vigil, the story is a gripping multigenerational saga centered on the assassination of the controversial, race-baiting U.S. senator Adam Sunraider, who's being tended to by 'Daddy' Hickman, the elderly black jazz musician turned preacher who raised the orphan Sunraider as a light-skinned black in rural Georgia. Presented in their unexpurgated, provisional state, the narrative sequences form a deeply poetic, moving, and profoundly entertaining book, brimming with humor and tension, composed in Ellison's magical jazz-inspired prose style and marked by his incomparable ear for vernacular speech. Beyond its richly compelling narratives, Three Days Before the Shooting. is perhaps most notable for its extraordinary insight into the creative process of one of this country's greatest writers. In various stages of composition and revision, its typescripts and computer files testify to Ellison's achievement and struggle with his material from the mid-1950s until his death forty years later. Three Days Before the Shooting. is an essential, fascinating piece of Ralph Ellison's legacy, and its publication is to be welcomed as a major event for American arts and letters.

 

Ellison Ralph RALPH ELLISON was born in Oklahoma City in 1914. He is the author of INVISIBLE MAN (1952), which won the National Book Award and became one of the most important and influential postwar American novels. He published two volumes of nonfiction, SHADOW AND ACT (1964) and GOING TO THE TERRITORY (1986), which, together with unpublished speeches and writings, were brought together as THE COLLECTED ESSAYS OF RALPH ELLISON IN 1995. For more than forty years before his death in 1994, Ralph Ellison lived with his wife, Fanny McConnell, on Riverside Drive in Harlem in New York City.

 

 

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After The Garden by Doris Jean Austin. New York. 1987. New American Library. hardcover. 324 pages. July 1987.  Jacket illustration by Jacqueline Schuman. 1st Novel. 0453005381.

 

 

0453005381FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   This brilliantly imagined, achingly alive novel about the pain and joy of a black woman’s life captures the textures and tensions, love and rage, of the black experience in America. The urban North is the setting of AFTER THE GARDEN: jersey City, New Jersey, where the beautiful but inwardly divided heroine, Elzina Tompkins, learns the lessons of life and love in 1940s and ‘50s. Elzina’s search for happiness and fulfillment is a journey on a tightrope stretched to the breaking point between two opposing poles. One is that of the woman who has raised her, her grandmother Rosalie, strong, proud, fiercely righteous, for whom any weakness is an unpardonable sin. The other is that of the exquisitely graceful, handsome, and free-spirited high school athlete, Jesse James, who becomes Elzina’s husband and great love. Elzina, loving her husband for the very qualities she has been taught to condemn, is a superbly complex, heartbreakingly real creation. Unforgettable too, is Jesse, who, wild as his namesake, cannot understand the core of resistance in Elzina that his charm and passion cannot melt. As Elzina and Jesse struggle to balance the strength of their love against the weight of their differences, their emotional fallout reaches an explosive intensity in their son, Charles. Finally only Elzina can heal the wounds of her family as she overcomes conflict, abandonment, heartbreak, and near-madness to emerge into stunning and triumphant womanhood. Probing relationships seared and ignited by love and sacrifice, joy and despair, this emotionally charged novel brings to life a cast of wonderful characters whose individuality and strength give them a special, tough beauty. Doris Jean Austin, prize-winning writer, tells us a fascinating story that vibrates with power and daring.

 

 

Austin Doris Jean  DORIS JEAN AUSTIN (1949 – September 1994), American author and journalist,, was born in 1949 in Mobile, Alabama, in the United States. She was raised by her mother and grandmother. When she was six years old, Austin moved with her family to Jersey City, New Jersey, where she attended Lincoln High School. She was influenced to become a writer by her high school English teacher Reverend Ercell F. Webb. She was raised in a strict Baptist household, which would also serve as an inspiration for her work. She died in 1994 of liver cancer. Austin was a former Colony fellow and in 1984 received the DeWitt Wallace/Reader’s Digest Award for Literary Excellence. From 1989 until 1994, Austin taught workshops about fiction at Columbia University and at the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center. She co-founded the Harlem Writers Guild. She left the guild in 1994 and co-founded The New Renaissance Guild. The group was inspired by writers groups during the Harlem Renaissance. Arthur Flowers and Terry McMillan were involved in the group. For a time she was a reporter for NBC Radio. Her articles have appeared in Essence magazine, Amsterdam News, and the New York Times. Austin wrote one novel, After the Garden (1987). The novel pulls inspiration from people that attended the Baptist church Austin attended when young. The book is about "idealism and tainted relationships." One of her notable short stories, ‘Rosalie Tompkins’, was featured in the recent Mentor anthology BLACK SOUTHERN VOICES. Her short story, "Heirs and Orphans," based on a character in After the Garden, was alao featured in that anthology. She had additional short stories appear in Street Lights: Illuminating Tales of the Urban Black Experience, which she co-edited. Austin was best friends with Terry McMillan. In McMillan's book, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, the character Delilah was based on Austin. Writer Carolyn Ferrell credits Austin as a mentor. She was a member of the New Renaissance Writers Guild and a former member of the Harlem Writers Guild. Originally from Alabama, she lived and wrote in New York City.

 

 

 

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The Port Chicago Mutiny: The Story Of The Largest Mass Mutiny Trial In U. S. Naval History by Robert L. Allen. New York. 1989. Warner Books. hardcover. 192 pages. March 1989. 0446710040.

 

 

0446710040FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   In the fall of 1944, a young lawyer working for the NAACP went to California to defend 50 black seamen accused of mutiny. The attorney, later to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, was Thurgood Marshall. The men were black sailors - and heroes. They were the survivors of the worst domestic disaster of the war: the explosion at Port Chicago, California, that claimed 320 lives. Now the Navy branded these men as cowards and criminals. Was there really a mutiny at Port Chicago? What caused the terrifying explosions? Was racial prejudice behind the indictments? Who was ultimately responsible for the disaster.  and the shocking trial? This provocative account provides stunning answers to these questions and rewrites a vital chapter in American history with the pen of truth. In the summer of 1944, thousands of tons of ammunition were loaded onto Liberty ships at a tiny California port near San Francisco. All the seamen who actually handled the ammunition were black. All the officers were white. The seamen had been given technical training to serve at sea. None were instructed in the handling of ammunition. All were told the bombs couldn’t explode because they had been defused. But complaints about the dangerous conditions were made regularly to Navy higher-ups. The only response was a demand that increased tonnage be loaded in shorter and shorter times. One of the men who had complained was an intelligent, clean-cut black seaman from New Jersey named Joseph Small. He was a winch operator, a position for which he received no training and which required tremendous skill. He was off-duty and back at the barracks on the night of July 17, 1944. Two ships, the E.A. Bryan and the Quinalt Victory were being loaded by floodlight. Their cargo included 650-pound incendiary bombs/.  with the fuses already installed. It was particularly dangerous ‘hot cargo.’ Shortly after 10 p.m. an explosion blew Joseph Small out of bed, and the barracks collapsed around him. The small town of Port Chicago, a mile and a half from the docks, was nearly razed to the ground. The two ships and their docks simply vanished. The dead totaled 320, 202 of them black men. This single stunning disaster accounted for more than 15 percent of o black naval casualties during the war. A few weeks later, after denying the surviving black seamen the thirty-day leave granted to the white survivors, the Navy ordered them to return to work at a nearby port.  under the same unsafe conditions found at Port Chicago. Over two hundred black men refused to march to the docks. Fifty were singled out for court-martial.  on a charge of mutiny. Joseph Small was identified as their ringleader. If found guilty, they could be sentenced to death. And so began a trial called the Port Chicago Mutiny. Robert L. Allen’s stirring courtroom drama and portrayal of the disaster itself is based on actual trial documents, material recently declassified by the Navy, and interviews with key black seamen who have borne the injustice of the Port Chicago Mutiny for over forty years. Their own words, along with a colorful, intimate diary account written by Joseph Small, are moving testaments to the personal suffering of what Thurgood Marshall called ‘one of the worst frame-ups we have come across.’ The shame of Port Chicago aroused the passions of Eleanor Roosevelt and reporter Mary Lindsay and the grave concerns of Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal and F.D.R. himself. It is a story told now to acknowledge the sacrifice of all those brave men who died at Port Chicago and to remove the stigma of disgrace from fifty brave, decent black who deserve — even at this late hour - the nation’s admiration and the restoration of their good names.

 

 

Allen Robert L  ROBERT L. ALLEN, who holds a Ph.D. degree in sociology from the University of California, San Francisco, has both observed and actively participated in the civil rights and antiwar movements. For eleven years, he was an editor of The Black Scholar magazine. He also taught sociology and ethnic studies at San Jose State University and Mills College in Oakland and is the author of BLACK AWAKENING IN CAPITALIST AMERICA and RELUCTANT REFORMERS: RACISM AND AMERICAN SOCIAL REFORM MOVEMENTS.

 

 

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The Gospel of Barbecue: Poems by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers. Kent. 2000. Kent State University Press. paperback. 76 pages.  Cover art: ‘KKK Boutique I’ by Camille Billops. 0873386736.

 

 

0873386736FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Winner of the 1999 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize - LUCILLE CLIFTON, Judge. ‘Honoree Jeffers is an exciting and original new poet, and THE GOSPEL OF BARBECUE is her aptly titled debut work. These poems are sweet and sassy, hot and biting, flavored in an exciting blend of precise language and sharp and surprising imagery that delights. They leave a taste in your mouth, these poems; they are true to themselves and to the world. They are gospel, indeed, and this young poet will be heard more and more spreading the true word. Good news!’ – LUCILLE CLIFTON. ‘Honi Jeffers is a storyteller in the Hurston tradition, no small feat in the parlance of voicings. The world she creates is more than speech and brighter than utterance alone. There is a moral center, a fluency of nuance, and a healthy respect for what has been lost, and what shall be gained. Her testimony is alive with culinary vocables: meditative, engaged. fearless and fearsome, with its own elegance, and steeled in an analysis of kin and kinship.’ - MICHAEL S. HARPER. ‘THE GOSPEL OF BARBECUE is a fine fire, a brilliance moving with swaying choir robes in a harmony of pain lived to sweetness. In poems that touch the most tender and open parts of the ancestral stream of what it is to be African and woman and southern in this America, Honoree Jeffers delivers song, sermon, and supplication. This is the opening solo of a voice in the widest range, a voice that will light and lead the way. Trajectories, victories are in this spirit moving in chords charted by the losses and loves of our fathers and our mothers - of all the poets, those who sing to live.’ – AFAA M. WEAVER.

 

 

Jeffers Honoree Fanonne  HONOREE FANONNE JEFFERS lives in Talladega, Alabama. Her poetry has been published in the anthologies AT OUR CORE: WOMEN WRITING ABOUT POWER; DARK EROS; and IDENTITY LESSONS. She has also published poems in Crab Orchard Review; African American Review; Callaloo; Poet Lore; Brilliant Corners; and The Massachusetts Review.

 

 

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Zeely by Virginia Hamilton. New York. 1967. Macmillan. hardcover. 122 pages.  Jacket art by Symeon Shimin. Illustrated by Symeon Shimin. 0027424707.

 

 

0027424707FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Zeely Tayber was more than six and a half feet tall, thin and deeply dark as a pole of Ceylon ebony. She had very high cheekbones and her eyes seemed to turn in on themselves. Geeder couldn’t say what expression she saw on Zeely’s face. She knew only that it was calm, and that it had pride in it, and that the face as the most beautiful she had ever seen. To Ceeder Perry, eleven years old and free for the first time to make her summer on the farm something special, Zeely is the embodiment of dreams. One day Geeder finds a remarkable photograph in an old magazine - a portrait of a Watutsi queen who looks just like Zeely. Suddenly she decides that the regal Zeely must be a queen too, and, swept up in her fantasies, she tells all the children in the village. Only Zeely herself can bring Geeder back to reality. How she succeeds is at once moving, surprising and reassuring - to Geeder most of all.

 

 

 

Hamilton Virginia  VIRGINIA HAMILTON was born in Yellow Springs, Ohio, a small town not unlike the Crystal of Zeely, her first book for children.

 

 

SYMEON SHIMIN is a well-known painter and illustrator. Born in Russia, he came to America in 1912. Among his finest books for children are Listen, Rabbit by Aileen Fisher and One Small Blue Bead by Byrd Baylor Schweitzer.

 

 

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Flying Home and Other Stories by Ralph Ellison. New York. 1996. Random House. hardcover. 179 pages. December 1996.  Jacket design: Andy Carpenter. Edited & With An Introduction by John F. Callahan. 0679457046.

 

 

0679457046FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Written between 1937 and 1954 and collected here for the first time, FLYING HOME AND OTHER STORIES represents the best of INVISIBLE MAN author Ralph Ellison’s short fiction. There are thirteen pieces, six of which were never published in Ellison’s lifetime. Ellison draws on his early experiences – his father’s death when he was three; hoboing his way on a freight train to Tuskegee Institute to follow his early dreams of becoming a musician - to create stories that, according to The Washington Post, ‘approach the simple elegance of Chekhov.’ FLYING HOME fulfills Ralph Ellison’s desire to publish a short-story collection, but it wasn’t until his literary executor John F. Callahan, discovered a folder marked ‘Early Stories’ in Ellison’s apartment after the writer’s death that this collection began to take shape. According to Callahan, ‘Discovery of the half dozen early stories made it possible to put together a volume of Ellison’s best published and unpublished freestanding fiction. These stories are early explorations of his lifelong fascination with the complex fate and beautiful absurdity of American identity. In them, a young writer finds his voice and sets about mastering his craft.’

 

 

 

Ellison Ralph  RALPH ELLISON was born in Oklahoma City in 1914. He is the author of INVISIBLE MAN (1952), which won the National Book Award and became one of the most important and influential postwar American novels. He published two volumes of nonfiction, SHADOW AND ACT (1964) and GOING TO THE TERRITORY (1986), which, together with unpublished speeches and writings, were brought together as THE COLLECTED ESSAYS OF RALPH ELLISON IN 1995. For more than forty years before his death in 1994, Ralph Ellison lived with his wife, Fanny McConnell, on Riverside Drive in Harlem in New York City.

 

 

Callahan John E  JOHN F CALLAHAN was born in Meriden, Connecticut. He is Morgan S. Odell Professor of Humanities at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. His books include THE ILLUSIONS OF A NATION and IN THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN GRAIN. He is the editor of the Modern Library edition of THE COLLECTED ESSAYS OF RALPH ELLISON and is literary executor of Ralph Ellison’s estate.

 

 

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Coup D’Etat: The Technique of Revolution by Curzio Malaparte. New York. 1932. Dutton. hardcover. 251 pages.  Translated from the Italian by Sylvia Saunders. 

 

coup d etatFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Here is the handbook for the modern revolutionist, from the pen of a man who has seen many of Europe’s post-war insurrections at first hand. The nineteenth-century Napoleonic model of the coup d’Etat, which dramatically seized the emblems of government, is dead. It has been superseded by a cold, efficient Marxian technique, first and most brilliantly used by Trotsky in 1917. The October Revolution of the Bolsheviks has rendered useless all the traditional methods of safeguarding the modern state from overthrow: it has changed insurrection from a picturesque drama to a machine. Such is the thesis of Signor Malaparte’s book, which is at the same time a brilliant account of modern dictators - Lenin, Trotsky, Mussolini, Pilsudski, Primo de Rivera - and the means by which they came to power. The book closes with a caustic analysis of Adolph Hitler, present aspirant to dictatorship in Germany, and restates the problems of internal security for a modern government. It is a volume which inevitably recalls Machiavelli’s PRINCE, as a realistic and ruthless account of modern statecraft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malaparte CurzioCurzio Malaparte (9 June 1898 – 19 July 1957), born Kurt Erich Suckert, was an Italian journalist, dramatist, short-story writer, novelist and diplomat. His chosen surname, which he used from 1925, means ‘evil/wrong side’ and is a play on Napoleon's family name ‘Bonaparte‘ which means, in Italian, ‘good side’. Born in Prato, Tuscany, to a Lombard mother and a German father, he was educated at Collegio Cicognini and at the La Sapienza University of Rome. In 1918 he started his career as a journalist. Malaparte fought in World War I, earning a captaincy in the Fifth Alpine Regiment and several decorations for valor, and in 1922 took part in Benito Mussolini's March on Rome. In 1924, he founded the Roman periodical La Conquista dello Stato (‘The Conquest of the State’, a title that would inspire Ramiro Ledesma Ramos' La Conquista del Estado). As a member of the Partito Nazionale Fascista, he founded several periodicals and contributed essays and articles to others, as well as writing numerous books, starting from the early 1920s, and directing two metropolitan newspapers. In 1926 he founded with Massimo Bontempelli (1878–1960) the literary quarterly ‘900’. Later he became a co-editor of Fiera Letteraria (1928–31), and an editor of La Stampa in Turin. His polemical war novel-essay, Viva Caporetto! (1921), criticized corrupt Rome and the Italian upper classes as the real enemy (the book was forbidden because it offended the Regio Esercito). In Tecnica del Colpo di Stato (1931) Malaparte attacked both Adolf Hitler and Mussolini. This led to Malaparte being stripped of his National Fascist Party membership and sent to internal exile from 1933 to 1938 on the island of Lipari. He was freed on the personal intervention of Mussolini's son-in-law and heir apparent Galeazzo Ciano. Mussolini's regime arrested Malaparte again in 1938, 1939, 1941, and 1943 and imprisoned him in Rome's infamous jail Regina Coeli. During that time (1938–41) he built a house, known as the Casa Malaparte, on Capo Massullo, on the Isle of Capri. Shortly after his time in jail he published books of magical realist autobiographical short stories, which culminated in the stylistic prose of Donna Come Me (WOMAN LIKE ME) (1940). His remarkable knowledge of Europe and its leaders is based upon his experience as a correspondent and in the Italian diplomatic service. In 1941 he was sent to cover the Eastern Front as a correspondent for Corriere della Sera. The articles he sent back from the Ukrainian Fronts, many of which were suppressed, were collected in 1943 and brought out under the title Il Volga nasce in Europa (‘The Volga Rises in Europe’). Also, this experience provided the basis for his two most famous books, KAPUTT (1944) and THE SKIN (1949). KAPUTT, his novelistic account of the war, surreptitiously written, presents the conflict from the point of view of those doomed to lose it. From November 1943 to March 1946 he was attached to the American High Command in Italy as an Italian Liaison Officer. Articles by Curzio Malaparte have appeared in many literary periodicals of note in France, the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States. After the war, Malaparte's political sympathies veered to the left, and he became member of the Italian Communist Party. In 1947 Malaparte settled in Paris and wrote dramas without much success. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Malaparte became interested in the Maoist version of Communism, but his journey to China was cut short by illness, and he was flown back to Rome. Io in Russia e in Cina, his journal of the events, was published posthumously in 1958. Malaparte's final book, Maledetti Toscani, his attack on bourgeois culture, appeared in 1956. Shortly after the publication of this book, he became a Catholic. He died from lung cancer on 19 July 1957. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Goodbye, Sweetwater: New & Selected Stories by Henry Dumas. New York. 1988. Thunder's Mouth Press. hardcover. 348 pages.  Jacket design by Loretta Li. 0938410598.

 

 

0938410598FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   This long-overdue collection/anthology of the late Henry Dumas’s powerful fiction (praised by The New York Times as ‘rich, talented and original’) brings together for the first time a broad selection of works, whose penetrating force, humor and savage clarity make vivid the richness of the black experience in America. These pieces, whose settings range from impoverished rural Arkansas to the explosive Harlem of the sixties, treat with courage and honesty the tensions between blacks and whites, from North to South; yet Dumas’s expansive breath of vision extends beyond racial hostilities to encompass universal conflicts – between man and nature, justice and injustice, love and hatred, good and evil. Among the stories in this collection that depict smoldering anger that sparks and blazes into violence, the grimly prophetic ‘Harlem’ stands out. Here, Dumas, who was killed in 1968 by a New York City policeman under still-unexplained circumstances, describes a black man watching the neighborhood boil over, even small children ‘infected by the strange malady of hate and boredom,’ as a police riot squad closes in on a crowd maddened by an attack on a black youth in an inexorable escalation of violence. Man and nature collide in an excerpt from Dumas’s haunting (only) novel, JONOAH AND THE GREEN STONE. Young John is orphaned and set adrift in a large flat-bottomed skiff when the Mississippi crosses the mudline and climbs over the levee, sweeping away people, animals, homes, crops. Adopted by the Mastersons, a family also dispossessed by the flood, John is rechristened ‘Jonoah’, because his boat has saved them all from the deluge. When a white man they rescue threatens Jonoah’s newfound family, the boy learns the difference between the mortal danger of the river and the moral danger of human malice. In the never-before-published title story ‘Goodbye, Sweetwater,’ menace hovers over Sulfur Springs, Arkansas, reduced to a wasteland by a nearby factory. There, sixteen-year-old Layton Bridges, watches the trains pass from his perch in a chinaberry tree in his grandmother’s yard and dreams of rejoining his mother in New York. A tense encounter with a local white man uncovers resentments that challenge his impending manhood. Praised as a writer ‘of both the mind and the flesh.  a master at the reins.’ Henry Dumas created a literature at once authentic in its depiction of human joy and despair and suggestive of the larger mysteries of life. In these stories, men, women and children endure poverty, violence and humiliation, but sustained by love and hope, they persist in a triumph of human dignity. The ultimate power of this vision, borne upon the lyric precision of his prose, should bring wide recognition to the masterful fiction of Henry Dumas.

 

Dumas Henry HENRY DUMAS, a prize-winning writer, was born in Sweet Home, Arkansas, on July 20, 1934, and moved to New York City when he was ten years old. His life was ended abruptly on May 23, 1968, by bullets from the gun of a New York Transit policeman in the subway. Reasons for the killing have remained vague and unsatisfactory. Before his death Dumas had been active on the ‘little’ magazine circuit as well as in the initial opening scene of the Black Arts Movement, publishing his stories and poems in Negro Digest/Black World, Rutgers’ Anthologist, the Hiram Poetry Review, Umbra and Black Fire. Since his death his reputation and writings have attracted a large and international community of readers. On the heels of the publication of ARK OF BONES AND OTHER STORIES and PLAY EBONY PLAY IVORY, writers, artists and students gathered in several largely Black areas of the country to read from the works and proclaim the genius of Dumas. Among the anthologies and periodicals which have printed his work since his death are: Black Scholar, Essence, Brothers and Sisters, Confrontation, Galaxy of Black Writing, You Better Believe it, Open Poetry and Giant Talk: An Anthology of Third World Writings. Just before his death, Dumas was employed by Southern Illinois University’s Experiment in Higher Education in East St. Louis.

 

 

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Comic Sagas and Tales from Iceland by Vidar Hreinsson (editor). New York. 2013. Penguin Books. paperback. 329 pages. Cover: llumination from the Icelandic manuscript Flateyjarbok, depicting King Harold Fine-Hair cutting the fetters from the giant Dofri. 9780140447743.

 

 

9780140447743FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

   ‘The axe bit well and the head went flying off and landed some distance away. Then Thorgeir rode off.’ COMIC SAGAS AND TALES brings together the finest comic stories from medieval Iceland. With feuding families and moments of grotesque violence, the sagas see such classic mythological figures as murdered fathers, disguised beggars, corrupt chieftains and avenging sons do battle with axes, words and cunning. The tales, meanwhile, follow heroes and comical fools through dreams, voyages and religious conversions in Iceland and beyond. Shaped by the Icelanders’ oral culture and their conversion to Christianity, these stories are works of ironic humour and stylistic innovation. In the introduction to these new translations, Vidar Hreinsson examines how the stories satirized old-style sagas while exploiting their classic themes of quests and revenge. This edition also includes a map, glossary, index of characters, suggested further reading and notes. Translated by Martin S. Regal, John Tucker, Ruth C. Ellison, Frederic Heinemann, George Clark, Robert Kellogg, Judith Jesch And Anthony Maxwell. Edited With An Introduction And Notes By Vidar Hreinsson.

 

 

 

 

Hreinsson VidarViðar Hreinsson grew up on a farm in Northern Iceland but studied Icelandic and literary theory in Iceland and Copenhagen. He is an independent literary scholar at the Reykjavik Academy and has taught and lectured on various aspects of Icelandic literary and cultural history at universities in both in Iceland and abroad, in Canada, USA and Scandinavia. He is the General Editor of the acclaimed The Complete Sagas of Icelanders I-V (1997), and he is the author of a two-volume biography of Icelandic Canadian poet Stephan G. Stephansson published in Iceland 2002 and 2003. The first volume was nominated for the Icelandic Literary Prize, and the biography as a whole received an the 2003 Award for Excellence in Scholarly Writing. A rewritten English version of this biography, Wakeful Nights, was published in Canada in 2012. He has written a number of scholarly articles on medieval sagas, 17th century literature, manuscript culture and Icelandic emigrant literature. More recently Viðar has been an environmental activist, written two biographies, served as the director of the Reykjavík Academy, and pursued research in Icelandic literary culture and critical cultural theory. At pr esent he is working on a ecocritical research project that will result in a monograph that will at the same time analyse and depict the 17 th century conception of nature, and the life of Jón Guðmundsson the Learned (1574-1658), a self-educated scholar, historian, poet, sorcerer and artist.

 

 

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Testimony by Charles Reznikoff. Boston. 2015. David Godine/black sparrow. Introduction by Eliot Weinberger. 6 × 9. 480 pages. December 2014. paperback. 9781567925319.

 

 

9781567925319FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   A major work by an essential American poet, published in full for the first time. Available again for the first time since 1978—and complete in one volume for the first time ever— Charles Reznikoff ’s Testimony is a lost masterpiece, a legendary book that stands alongside Louis Zukofsky’s ‘A’ and William Carlos Williams’s Paterson as a milestone of modern American poetry. Taking as its raw material the voices of witnesses, victims, and perpetrators discovered by the author in criminal court transcripts, Reznikoff ’s book sets forth a stark panorama of late19th- and early 20th-century America—the underside of the Gilded Age, beset by racism and casual violence, poverty and disease—in a radically stripped-down language of almost unbearable intensity. This edition also includes Reznikoff ’s prose studies for the poem, unavailable to readers since the 1930s, and a new introduction by essayist Eliot Weinberger. ‘[Testimony] is perhaps Reznikoff’s most important achievement as a poet. A quietly astonishing work. .. at once a kaleidoscope vision of American life and the ultimate test of Reznikoff ’s poetic principles.. .’ – Paul Auster. ‘Reznikoff ’s astonishingly engaging and quietly powerful work has been steadily gaining a passionate following.. .. Testimony is a chronicle of industrial accidents, domestic violence, racism. It tells the story of America’s forgotten, those who suffer without redress, without name, without hope; yet the soul of these States is found in books like this; the acknowledgment of these peripheral stories turns a waste land into holy ground.’ – Charles Bernstein.

 

Reznikoff CharlesCharles Reznikoff was born in Brooklyn in 1894. He graduated from law school and was admitted to the bar, but never practiced, instead pursuing his writing. Between 1918 and 1961 he published twenty-three books of poetry and prose, gaining a wider readership in 1962, when New Directions published By the Waters of Manhattan: Selected Verse; a second selection, By the Well of Living and Seeing, was published by Black Sparrow in 1974, followed by the Complete Poems and Holocaust. Reznikoff died in 1975, at the age of eighty-one. Eliot Weinberger is an acclaimed essayist, translator, and editor. His essays are collected in Karmic Traces, An Elemental Thing, Oranges & Peanuts for Sale, Outside Stories, Works On Paper, and What Happened Here: Bush Chronicles (all available from New Directions). His writing appears frequently in The New York Review of Books and The London Review of Books.

 

 

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The Skalds: A Selection of Their Poems with an introduction and notes by Lee Hollander (translator). Ann Arbor. 1968. University of Michigan Press. 216 pages.  paperback. Cover design by Quentin Fiore.  Translated from the Icelandic by Lee Hollander.

 

 

skalds aa135FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   From Old Norse antiquity has come down to us the large body of the skalds—or court poets of Norway and Iceland—composed to feat of arms or an act of generosity by their lords. The skalds were usually witty and ingenious young gentlemen of noble birth, who often composed their verses extemporaneously. Many such verses were preserved in the great sagas. Lee M. Hollander has here translated many of these colorful but complicated poems and has provided an excellent understanding of the vivid personalities, important historical events, religious mythology, and folklore of the period. Chapters are devoted to the life and works of more than a dozen of the greatest skalds. This book will be of great interest to students of comparative literature as well as to the general reader.

Hollander Lee

 

 

Lee M. Hollander, professor of Germanic languages at the University of Texas, is the author of a Bibliography of Skaldic Studies and has edited the Poetic Edda and Snorri Sturluson’s Heimskringla.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Bush Soldiers by John Hooker. New York. 1984. 439 pages. October 1984. hardcover. 0670197513. Jacket design by Neil Stuart. Jacket painting by Hodges Soileau, 1984. 

 

 

0670197513FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   It is August 1943. The Japanese have invaded Australia and are holding its eastern coastal cities. In the deserted interior moving from one desolate outpost to another, are a group of men united by little more than their bravery and common plight. Two of them are English and the rest Australian; some of them are old - the hero, Geoffrey Sawtell, saw action In World War I as a raw Australian recruit in the trenches - and some very young; some of them are experienced and one is nothing but a drifter. Yet in this inhospitable landscape they are in certain respects all equal. After sabotaging a mine held by the Japanese, the bush soldiers retreat into central Australia, looking constantly for their pursuers, seeing nothing but the infrequent smoke of a campfire. Chapters recounting their adventures alternate with flashbacks about the heroic Sawtell - his love, his work, his inarticulate deep search for an ideal of progressive Australian life. But as the men move deeper into the country not even Sawtell, the one most attuned to the land essential beauty can escape the truth that they are all foreigners and newcomers in this ancient, aboriginal place. And the cruel terrain and their own weaknesses suggest that the Japanese nightmare is not, perhaps, the principal one. The tension mounts as the enemy continually eludes them; the final tragedy is played out when - their supplies depleted, their way uncertain, their destiny clouded - the implacable truth of the Australian bush brings the soldiers to their knees and all but two of them to their certain death. Of John Hooker and THE BUSH SOLDIERS, the Australian poet and novelist David Malouf has written, ‘Difficult to say what is most admirable, the action of his epic plot, the daring with which he moves from a precise vision of Australia between the wars to his imaginary historical moment, the irony of his contrast between British, Australian, and aboriginal heroes, the complexity with which he presents his leading character, or the surprise he springs in locating the real enemy not in the Japanese invaders but in the invaded land itself, before which Geoffrey Sawtell’s virtues as a man of action, and all his weaponry, are of no value whatsoever. THE BUSH SOLDIERS is set in the past - in fact an imaginary one - but its argument is utterly contemporary. It’s a real achievement.'

 

 

John Hooker received an MA from the University of Auckland, and was publishing director at both Penguin and Collins. In addition to fiction, Hooker wrote about history and the military, and in 1989 published Korea: The Forgotten War. He also published Brekky, Dinner & Tea: Recipes for When You're Hungry, with John Michie, (1985) and was a contributor to the Australian and the Age. Elements of landscape and characters' psychology feature prominently in Hooker's fictional work, which also focuses on such themes as murder, violence, corruption, racism and love.

 

 

 

 

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Poems 1918-1936: Volume 1 of The Complete Poems of Charles Reznikoff by Charles Reznikoff. Santa Barbara. 1976. Black Sparrow Press. Edited by Seamus Cooney. 227 pages. hardcover. 0876852622

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

0876852622   A scarce work from Reznikoff, who died while the project was at press, but had already signed the colophon pages of this edition. Reznikoff’s first book of poetry, Rhythms, was privately published in 1918. He took a series of writing and editing jobs to support himself, working on the editorial staffs of the American Law Book Company and, beginning in 1955, the Jewish Frontier. In 1930, Reznikoff married Marie Syrkin, who later became a distinguished professor at Brandeis University. Throughout the 1930s, Reznikoff gained recognition as one of the principal proponents of Objectivism, along with Louis Zukofsky, George Oppen, and Carl Rakosi. The group of poets established the Objectivist Press, which published three of Reznikoff’s books. His work enjoyed little commercial success, however, and much of it continued to be self-published. The most comprehensive edition of Reznikoff’s work is Poems 1918-1975: The Complete Poems of Charles Reznikoff (Black Sparrow Press, 1989). His other books of poetry include Holocaust (1975) and Testimony (1965), which are his most celebrated works, as well as Going To and Fro and Walking Up and Down (1941), Jerusalem the Golden (1934), Poems (1920), and Rhythms (1918). He also published several prose works and a number of plays. After his death, a novel entitled The Manner Music was discovered by his patron, John Martin, and published posthumously in 1976, with an introduction by Robert Creeley. Apart from his foray in the south and a year spent as a Hollywood screenwriter in the 1930s, Reznikoff was a lifelong resident of New York City. He died on January 22, 1976.

 

Reznikoff Charles  Charles Reznikoff (August 31, 1894 – January 22, 1976) was an American poet known for his long work, Testimony: The United States (1885-1915), Recitative (1934-1979). The term Objectivist was first coined for him. The two-volume Testimony was based on court records and explored the black experience in the United States. He followed this with Holocaust (1975), based on court testimony about Nazi death camps during World War II. When Louis Zukofsky was asked by Harriet Monroe to provide an introduction to what became known as the Objectivist issue of Poetry, he contributed his essay, Sincerity and Objectification: With Special Reference to the Work of Charles Reznikoff. This established the name of the loose-knit group of 2nd generation modernist poets and the two characteristics of their poetry: sincerity and objectification.

 

 

 

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The Quotable Kierkegaard by Soren Kierkegaard. Princeton. 2013. Princeton University Press. hardcover. 234 pages. Jacket illustration: Details of Sketch of Soren Kierkegaard based on a sketch by Niels Christian Kierkegaard (1806-1882). Edited by Gordon Marino. 9780691155302.

 

9780691155302FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE AND AUTHORITATIVE COLLECTION OF KIERKEGAARD QUOTATIONS EVER PUBLISHED. ‘The Quotable Kierkegaard serves equally well as an introduction or a reference book. There is no better way to sample the unique flavor of Kierkegaard’s thought. And if you ever need a quotation for a speech or a sermon, for an epigraph or an epitaph, for a dedication or a denunciation, you’re sure to find a striking one here.’ - David Lodge, author of Small World, Therapy, and other novels. ‘Why I so much prefer autumn to spring is that in the autumn one looks at heaven - in the spring at the earth.’ - Søren Kierkegaard. The father of existentialism, Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855) was a philosopher who could write like an angel. With only a sentence or two, he could plumb the depths of the human spirit. In this collection of some 800 quotations, the reader will find dazzling bon mots next to words of life-changing power. Drawing from the authoritative Princeton editions of Kierkegaard’s writings, this book presents a broad selection of his wit and wisdom, as well as a stimulating introduction to his life and work. Organized by topic, this volume covers notable Kierkegaardian concerns such as anxiety, despair, existence, irony, and the absurd, but also erotic love, the press, busyness, and the comic. Here readers will encounter both well-known quotations (‘Life must be understood backward. But then one forgets the other principle, that it must be lived forward’) and obscure ones (‘Beware false prophets who come to you in wolves’ clothing but inwardly are sheep - i.e., the phrasemongers’). Those who spend time in these pages will discover the writer who said ‘my grief is my castle,’ but who also taught that ‘the best defense against hypocrisy is love.’ Illuminating and delightful, this engaging book also provides a substantial portrait of one of the most influential of modern thinkers; Gathers some 800 quotations; Drawn from the authoritative Princeton editions of Kierkegaard’s writings; Includes an introduction, a brief account and timeline of Kierkegaard’s life, a guide to further reading, and an index.

 

 

Kierkegaard Soren Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology and the philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and parables. Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a 'single individual', giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment. He was a fierce critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, such as Swedenborg, Hegel, Goethe, Fichte, Schelling, Schlegel and Hans Christian Andersen. Kierkegaard's theological work focuses on Christian ethics, the institution of the Church, the differences between purely objective proofs of Christianity, the infinite qualitative distinction between man and God, and the individual's subjective relationship to the God-Man Jesus Christ, which came through faith. Much of his work deals with the art of Christian love. He was extremely critical of the practice of Christianity as a state religion, primarily that of the Church of Denmark. His psychological work explored the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices. Kierkegaard's early work was written under various pseudonyms which he used to present distinctive viewpoints and interact with each other in complex dialogue. He assigned pseudonyms to explore particular viewpoints in-depth, which required several books in some instances, while Kierkegaard, openly or under another pseudonym, critiqued that position. He wrote many Upbuilding Discourses under his own name and dedicated them to the 'single individual' who might want to discover the meaning of his works. Notably, he wrote: 'Science and scholarship want to teach that becoming objective is the way. Christianity teaches that the way is to become subjective, to become a subject.' While scientists can learn about the world by observation, Kierkegaard emphatically denied that observation could reveal the inner workings of the spiritual world. Some of Kierkegaard's key ideas include the concept of 'Truth as Subjectivity', the knight of faith, the recollection and repetition dichotomy, angst, the infinite qualitative distinction, faith as a passion, and the three stages on life's way. Kierkegaard's writings were written in Danish and were initially limited to Scandinavia, but by the turn of the 20th century, his writings were translated into major European languages, such as French and German. By the mid-20th century, his thought exerted a substantial influence on philosophy, theology, and Western culture.

Gordon Marino is professor of philosophy and director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He is the author of Kierkegaard in the Present Age, the coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to Kierkegaard, and the editor of Basic Writings of Existentialism.

 

 

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The Disappearance Of The Outside by Andrei Codrescu. Reading. 1990. 216 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Gary Koepke. 0201121948.

 

 

0201121948FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   When an excerpt from this book first appeared, The Nation called it ‘a remarkable essay the sort of social-cultural-political analysis the mind longs for when it’s been fed for months on Wonder Bread while roaring for raw meat.’ This analysis could only have come from Andrei Codrescu: born in Stalinist Romania, exploring the world during the turbulent 1960s, and now an American poet, essayist, and commentator. In the late twentieth century, he writes, people fear the Outside - that which holds everything beyond our control and current understanding. We yearn to escape into the familiar, not into the unknown. Minds are no longer open to mystery. The rulers of the Eastern bloc tried to close off the Outside with barbed wire and censorship, driving away creative minds. An exile himself, Codrescu looks at Czeslaw Milosz, whose literary Lithuania has become more famous than the region itself; Vàclav Havel, recently a prisoner of the Czechoslovak state and now its leader; Milan Kundera, who sought a free press and now refuses all interviews; and many other authors who fled and fought oppression. Now popular revolutions are bringing East and West together. Codrescu was once so unwelcome in Romania that his name could not appear in crossword puzzles; in December 1989, he relates, he returned and was invited to go on national television. Yet here in the West, Codrescu points out, the Outside is blocked by billboards, drowned out by commercials. There is free expression, but can we really think about what anybody says? What will flow eastward through the cracks in the Iron Curtain — freedom of thought or ‘freedom to shop’? Part memoir of crossing East and West, part critique of our current world literature, and part jeremiad against how we ignore imagination as a force in our lives, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE OUTSIDE is an extraordinary piece of writing that holds challenges for years ahead.

 

 

Codrescu Andrei  Andrei Codrescu is a Romanian-born American poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and commentator for National Public Radio. He was Mac Curdy Distinguished Professor of English at Louisiana State University from 1984 until his retirement in 2009. Born as Andrei Perlmutter on December 20, 1946 in Sibiu, Romania, he published his first poems in Romanian under the pen name Andrei Steiu. In 1965 he left the country to escape from the communist regime. After some time in Italy, he emigrated to the United States in 1966, and settled in Detroit where he became a regular at John Sinclair’s Artists and Writers’ Workshop. A year later he moved to New York where he became part of the literary scene on the Lower East Side. There he met Allen Ginsberg, Ted Berrigan, and Anne Waldman, and published his first poems in English. In 1970, his poetry book, License to Carry a Gun, won the ‘Big Table Award’. He moved to San Francisco in 1970, and lived on the West Coast for seven years, four of those in Monte Rio, a Sonoma County town on the Russian River. He also lived in Baltimore (where he taught at Johns Hopkins University), New Orleans and Baton Rouge, publishing a book every year, and actively participating in literary life by writing poetry, stories, essays and reviews for many publications, including The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Harper's, and the Paris Review. He had regular columns in The Baltimore Sun, the City Paper, Architecture, Funny Times, Gambit Weekly, and Neon. He has been a regular commentator on National Public Radio’s news program, All Things Considered, since 1983. He won the 1995 Peabody Award for the film Road Scholar, an American road saga that he wrote and starred in, and is a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize. He has been called ‘one of our most magical writers’ by The New York Times. In 1989, Codrescu's coverage of the Romanian Revolution of 1989 for National Public Radio and ABC News’ Nightline, was critically acclaimed, and his renewed interest in Romanian language and literature led to new work written in Romanian, including ‘Miracle and Catastrophe’, a book-length interview conducted by the theologian Robert Lazu, and ‘The Forgiven Submarine’, an epic poem written in collaboration with poet Ruxandra Cesereanu, which won the 2008 Romania Radio Cultural award. His books were translated into Romanian by Ioana Avadani, Ioana Ieronim, Carmen Firan, Rodica Grigore, and Lacrimioara Stoie. In 2005 he was awarded the prestigious international Ovidius Prize (also known as the Ovid Prize), previous winners of which include Mario Vargas Llosa, Amos Oz, and Orhan Pamuk. In 1981, Codrescu became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He is the editor and founder of the online journal Exquisite Corpse, a journal of ‘books and ideas’. He reigned as King of the Krewe du Vieux for the 2002 New Orleans Mardi Gras season. He has two children, Lucian and Tristan, from his marriage to Alice Henderson, and is currently married to Laura Cole.

 

 

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  • Walker, David. David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World

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