The Big Sea: An Autobiography
  • The Big Sea: An Autobiography
  • The Big Sea: An Autobiography
  • The Big Sea: An Autobiography
ISBN: 0809015498
EAN13: 9780809015498
Language: English
Release Date: Aug 1, 1993
Pages: 335
Dimensions: 0.92" H x 8" L x 5.5" W
Weight: 1.14 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview

This Description may be from another edition of this product.

Langston Hughes was among the Harlem Renaissance authors who traveled widely during the 1920s. In the first volume of his autobiography, The Big Sea, covering the years through 1931, Hughes offers recollections of his childhood in Kansas, his high school years in Cleveland, his sojourn with his father in Mexico, and his initial reactions to New York City and Harlem.

Commentaries on the Black Renaissance in Harlem and Washington, D.C., are intertwined with recollections of his student years at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, his travels through the South, and his association as a younger generation poet with the New York and Harlem literary establishment represented by the magazines Crisis and Opportunity. Personal memories of Jessie Fauset, Countee Cullen, Jean Toomer, W. E. B. Du Bois, Wallace Thurman, Alain Locke, Carter G. Woodson, Vachel Lindsay, A'Lelia Walker, and others are augmented by allusions to such celebrities as Duke Ellington, Florence Mills, Eubie Blake, Florence Embry, Josephine Baker, Bert Williams, Theodore Dreiser, Ethel Barrymore, and Bessie Smith.

Hughes addresses such controversial issues as his literary and personal disagreements with Zora Neale Hurston over their play Mule Bone, Carl Van Vechten's problematic novel Nigger Read More chevron_right

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Book Reviews (8)

5
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4
   A Somewhat guarded account of the life of a great American Poet.
If you don't know much about the life of Langston, this is a good place to start. It was written over 50 years ago and provides a glimpse into the life of this American poet. He gives the reader insight into some key events that helped shape the man we have come to know, while not revealing much about his personal life. Langston was a young man who spent a number of years trying to find himself and his place in society. His writing was more inspired by the down times than the up times, and his adventures both here and abroad far exceeded what I would have expected from a young black man. I would recommend this book for high school students to read and discuss how Langston was willing to take some calculated chances and explore the world beyond what he knew.
 
5
   A wonderful memoir
The autobiographymemoir of Langston Hughes is a joy to read and he was a wonderful poet and story teller. He tells the story of his life in delightful episodes that are short and to the point. A short story has a beginning, a middle and an end. The reader needs to be amazed at the breadth and texture of his life adventures. He lives in Mexico with his father, in several cities with his mother and other relatives, and in Europe, Africa, and also in Paris, where he stayed for a few months. The reader gets to see what it was like to be Negro in America as well as in other places in the world. The book is very difficult to read and the writing is great. I highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about writing an autobiography or memoir.
 
5
   The best Künstlerroman since Joyce's "Portrait..."
This book is one of the best books about a young writer since Joyce's Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man. It's like thinking of Joyce as an early 20 th century European writer but factual.
 
4
   Langston Hughes, The Big Sea
I enjoy autobiographies, they can take you into another world. That's what this book did. It gave me a better idea of the times that Hughes lived in. He wrote about how he came up with some of his poems. His writing is colorful. I was amazed by the places he traveled to and worked in. He compared the way he was treated in America to how he was treated in other countries. The book makes you feel like you know Hughes.
 
5
   A quirky masterpiece
I loved it. I thought that even if he wasn't completely candid, he was still honest enough to let his personality shine through. There was so much that I didn't know. The Paris years were very interesting. He stressed his working- class background and downplayed his hobnobbing with the literati. I don't think it's right to call him a closeted gay man. He doesn't write much about going to brothels. He never mentions the fact that he was only 5'4 in height, but it explains a lot. His account of the Harlem Renaissance is wonderful, but there's more. There is a struggle for racial respect that is not new. His hand- to- mouth youth was what really caught my attention. Don't miss the memoir.
 
4
   Biographical Essays
The young man's life of adventure and writing was beautifully written in several of the chapters. Some chapters were repetitive because they were not part of a single narrative. Some chapters were just a list of famous people. This was an excellent look at the life and times of Langston Hughes.
 
5
   Good read.
The Harlem Renaissance is my favorite period of time. I read it in a few days and have been suggesting it to everyone who wants a good book to read.
 
5
   one of the greatest friendliest reads 11/2018
You can read this over the weekend. It was very friendly and personal. It is articulate. The brother was felt connected to. Not much has changed on the color lines and white supremacy in states, and applaud other parts of the world for looking at black men as human vs states daily trying to dehumanize them. White supremacy is used as a distraction to anger us and not all whites are racist. It was a pleasure to read about L Hughes and his travels. Rest in power, my brother.
 
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