Chester B. Himes

Chester B. Himes

A Biography

Book - 2017
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WW Norton
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.
The definitive biography of thegroundbreaking African Americanauthor who had an extraordinarylegacy on black writers globally.

Baker & Taylor
Explores Himes' middle-class origins, imprisonment, creative experiences during World War II, and eventual escape to Europe, where he became famous for his Harlem detective series and its themes of sexuality, racism, and social injustice.

Book News
This biography traces the life and career of African American writer Chester B. Himes (1909-1984), drawing on interviews and Himes’ archives. It describes his middle-class origins, his eight years in prison for armed robbery and his writing while there, his career in the US, how he left for Europe in the 1950s, and the description of racial injustice in his works, such as If He Hollers Let Him Go, Cotton Comes to Harlem, Lonely Crusade, The Third Generation, The Primitive, Cast the First Stone, and Mamie Mason. Annotation ©2017 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)

Baker
& Taylor

An account of the improbable life of the controversial writer explores Himes' middle-class origins, imprisonment, creative experiences during World War II and eventual escape to Europe, where he became famous for his Harlem detective series and its themes of sexuality, racism and social injustice.

Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Company, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 0393063895 (hardcover)
9780393063899 (hardcover)
Branch Call Number: B HIMES
Characteristics: xv, 606 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm

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