Rediscover the great Harlem Renaissance poet's first and only novel, an elegiac, elegantly realized coming-of-age tale. Langston Hughes's Not Without Laughter (1930) is drawn in part from the author's own recollections of youth and early manhood. "I wanted to write about a typical Negro family in the Middle West," he later explained of his award-winning debut, and it is as a fond and richly anecdotal family and community portrait that his book comes to life. Following Sandy Rogers from his boyhood in rural Kansas to his arrival in Chicago as a young man, and set against a backdrop of poverty, segregation, and the onset of World War I, it introduces us to a host of vividly realized characters along the way: Sandy's pious, redoubtable grandmother Hager, who holds the generations together; his itinerant father Jimboy with his guitar; mother Annjee, who keeps house for wealthy whites; blues-singing Aunt Harriet; proper, social-climbing Aunt Tempy; and many more.
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by Langston Hughes
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by Charles W. Chesnutt
by George S. Schuyler
by Henry James
by Jean Stafford
by Thomas Boyd
by Booth Tarkington
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