Thursday, May 28, 2015

Anti-Communist Novel of Harlem Renaissance Is Found

via The New York Times:

The authentication of the novel is “scholarly gold,” said William J. Maxwell, the editor of “Complete Poems: Claude McKay.” Its mocking portraits of Communists show McKay’s decisive break with Communism and his effort to turn his political evolution into art, said Mr. Maxwell, a professor of English and African-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. 

Moreover, while the flowering of arts known as the Harlem Renaissance obsessively documented black life in the 1920s, he said, far less is known about the period of the 1930s, focused on in “Amiable.” 

Many scholars believe that the Harlem Renaissance’s creative energy had pretty much run out by the late 1930s. But Mr. Edwards said he believed that “Amiable” would eventually be recognized “as the key political novel of the black intellectual life in New York in the late 1930s.”

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