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Not Without Laughter

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Our greatest African American poet’s award-winning first novel, about a black boy’s coming-of-age in a largely white Kansas town

When first published in 1930, Not Without Laughter established Langston Hughes as not only a brilliant poet and leading light of the Harlem Renaissance but also a gifted novelist. In telling the story of Sandy Rogers, a young African American boy in small-town Kansas, and of his family—his mother, Annjee, a housekeeper for a wealthy white family; his irresponsible father, Jimboy, who plays the guitar and travels the country in search of employment; his strong-willed grandmother Hager, who clings to her faith; his Aunt Tempy, who marries a rich man; and his Aunt Harriet, who struggles to make it as a blues singer—Hughes gives the longings and lineaments of black life in the early twentieth century an important place in the history of racially divided America.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

ISBN-13: 9780143131861

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Publication Date: 01-16-2018

Pages: 256

Product Dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.68(d)

Langston Hughes (1902–1967), a central figure of the Harlem Renaissance and one of the most influential and esteemed writers of the twentieth century, was born in Joplin, Missouri, and spent much of his childhood in Kansas before moving to Harlem. His first book of poetry, The Weary Blues, was published in 1926; its success helped him to win a scholarship to Lincoln University, in Pennsylvania, from which he received his B.A. in 1929 and an honorary Litt.D. in 1943. Among his other awards and honors were a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rosenwald Fellowship, and a grant from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Hughes published more than thirty-five books, including works of poetry, short stories, novels, an autobiography, musicals, essays, and plays. Angela Flournoy (introduction) was a finalist for the National Book Award for her debut novel, The Turner House. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New York Times, The New Republic, and the Los Angeles Times. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Flournoy was raised by a mother from Los Angeles and a father from Detroit and now lives in Brooklyn.

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Excerpted from "Not Without Laughter"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Langston Hughes.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

I. Storm
II. Conversation
III. Jimboy's Letter
IV. Thursday Afternoon
V. Guitar
VI. Work
VII. White Folks
VIII. Dance
IX. Carnival
X. Punishment
XI. School
XII. Hard Winter
XIII. Christmas
XIV. Return
XV. One by One
XVI. Nothing but Love
XVII. Barber-Shop
XVIII. Children's Day
XIX. Ten Dollars and Costs
XX. Hey, Boy!
XXI. Note to Harriett
XXII. Beyond the Jordan
XXIII. Tempy's House
XXIV. A Shelf of Books
XXV. Pool Hall
XXVI. The Doors of Life
XXVII. Beware of Women
XXVIII. Chicago
XXIX. Elevator
XXX. Princess of the Blues