Chester B. Himes: A Biography

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Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company,
Pub. Date:
2017.
Language:
English
Description
Chester B. Himes has been called "one of the towering figures of the black literary tradition" (Henry Louis Gates Jr.), "the best writer of mayhem yarns since Raymond Chandler" (San Francisco Chronicle), and "a quirky American genius" (Walter Mosely). He was the twentieth century's most prolific black writer, captured the spirit of his times expertly, and left a distinctive mark on American literature. Yet today he stands largely forgotten.In this definitive biography of Chester B. Himes (1909-1984), Lawrence P. Jackson uses exclusive interviews and unrestricted access to Himes's full archives to portray a controversial American writer whose novels unflinchingly confront sex, racism, and black identity. Himes brutally rendered racial politics in the best-selling novel If He Hollers Let Him Go, but he became famous for his Harlem detective series, including Cotton Comes to Harlem. A serious literary tastemaker in his day, Himes had friendships--sometimes uneasy--with such luminaries as Ralph Ellison, Carl Van Vechten, and Richard Wright.Jackson's scholarship and astute commentary illuminates Himes's improbable life--his middle-class origins, his eight years in prison, his painful odyssey as a black World War II-era artist, and his escape to Europe for success. More than ten years in the writing, Jackson's biography restores the legacy of a fascinating maverick caught between his aspirations for commercial success and his disturbing, vivid portraits of the United States.
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ISBN:
9780393634136
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Grouped Work ID 7d990085-688b-50de-9ebd-8ea7c59a63a5
Grouping Title chester b himes
Grouping Author jackson lawrence p
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-06-28 04:46:47AM
Last Indexed 2018-07-16 04:41:48AM

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author Jackson, Lawrence P..
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display_description Winner of the 2018 Edgar Award for Best Critical/Biographical Work A Washington Post Notable Book The definitive biography of the groundbreaking African American author who had an extraordinary legacy on black writers globally. Chester B. Himes has been called “one of the towering figures of the black literary tradition” (Henry Louis Gates Jr.), “the best writer of mayhem yarns since Raymond Chandler” (San Francisco Chronicle), and “a quirky American genius” (Walter Mosely). He was the twentieth century’s most prolific black writer, captured the spirit of his times expertly, and left a distinctive mark on American literature. Yet today he stands largely forgotten. In this definitive biography of Chester B. Himes (1909–1984), Lawrence P. Jackson uses exclusive interviews and unrestricted access to Himes’s full archives to portray a controversial American writer whose novels unflinchingly confront sex, racism, and black identity. Himes brutally rendered racial politics in the best-selling novel If He Hollers Let Him Go, but he became famous for his Harlem detective series, including Cotton Comes to Harlem. A serious literary tastemaker in his day, Himes had friendships—sometimes uneasy—with such luminaries as Ralph Ellison, Carl Van Vechten, and Richard Wright. Jackson’s scholarship and astute commentary illuminates Himes’s improbable life—his middle-class origins, his eight years in prison, his painful odyssey as a black World War II–era artist, and his escape to Europe for success. More than ten years in the writing, Jackson’s biography restores the legacy of a fascinating maverick caught between his aspirations for commercial success and his disturbing, vivid portraits of the United States.
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subject_facet African American -- HISTORY, Cultural Heritage -- BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY, Electronic books, Literary -- BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
title_display Chester B. Himes: A Biography
title_full Chester B. Himes: A Biography [eBook] Jackson, Lawrence P..
title_short Chester B. Himes: A Biography
topic_facet African American, Cultural Heritage, Literary