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Introduction by Arnold Rampersad. Langston Hughes, born in 1902, came of age early in the 1920s. In The Big Sea he recounts those memorable years in the two great playgrounds of the decade--Harlem and Paris. In Paris he was a cook and waiter in nightclubs. He knew the musicians and dancers, the drunks and dope fiends. In Harlem he was a rising young poet--at the center of the "Harlem Renaissance." Arnold Rampersad writes in his incisive new introduction to The Big Sea, an American classic: "This is American writing at its best--simpler than Hemingway; as simple and direct as that of another Missouri-born writer...Mark Twain."
Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, went to Cleveland, Ohio, lived for a number of years in Chicago, and long resided in New York City's Harlem. He graduated from Lincoln University in 1929 and was awarded an honorary Litt. D. in 1943. He was perhaps best known as a poet and the creator of Simple, but he also wrote novels, biography, history, plays (several of them Broadway hits), and children's books, and he edited several anthologies. Mr. Hughes died in 1967.
Arnold Rampersad, author of the widely acclaimed biography The Life of Langston Hughes, is Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature and director of American Studies at Princeton University.
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"Langston Hughes is the Jazz Poet! The constant communicator of Blues. He is the singer, philosopher, the folk and urban lyricist. This book is the chronicle of a bright and lively artistic ear that brought the African-American people full into the twentieth century. It is a wonderful book!"--Amiri Baraka