A Jean Toomer reader: selected unpublished writings

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Oxford University Press, Dec 16, 1993 - Literary Collections - 290 pages
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Jean Toomer achieved instant recognition as a critic and thinker in 1923 with the publication of his novel Cane, a harsh, eloquent vision of black American hardship and suffering. But because of his reclusive, introspective nature, Toomer's fame waned in later years, and today his other contributions to American thought and literature are all but forgotten. Now, this collection of unpublished writings restores a crucial dimension to our understanding of this important African American author. Thematically arranging letters, sketches, poems, autobiography, short stories, a play, and a children's story, Frederik Rusch offers insight into Toomer's mind and spirituality, his feelings on racial identity in America, and his attitudes toward and ideas about Cane. Rusch highlights Toomer's reflections on America, its people, landscape, and politics, reveals his significance for the problems and issues of today, and helps us understand Toomer not only as writer, but also as social critic, prophet, mystic, and idealist. Exploring Toomer's attempts to find self-realization and transcend social and cultural definitions of race, this book offers a unique view of the United States through the life of one of its most significant and fascinating intellectuals.

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A JEAN TOOMER READER: Selected Unpublished Writings

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

When in 1923 the American writer Jean Toomer (1894-1967) published Cane, his famous lyric and experimental novel of black southern life, he received immediate recognition and acknowledgment for having ... Read full review

Contents

To Move from Place to Place
3
Cane
19
6
26
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Jean Toomer (1894 1967) was born in Washington, D.C., the son of educated blacks of Creole stock. Literature was his first love and he regularly contributed avant garde poetry and short stories to such magazines as Dial, Broom, Secession, Double Dealer, and Little Review. After a literary apprenticeship in New York, Toomer taught school in rural Georgia. His experiences there led to the writing of Cane.

Rusch is Associate Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.