A DuBose Heyward Reader

A DuBose Heyward Reader


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DuBose Heyward (1885-1940) was a central figure in both the Charleston and the Southern Renaissance. His influence extended to the Harlem Renaissance as well. However, Heyward is often remembered simply as the author of Porgy, the 1925 novel about the poorest black residents of Charleston, South Carolina. Porgy—the novel and its stage versions—has probably done more to shape views worldwide of African American life in the South than any twentieth-century work besides Gone with the Wind. This volume acquaints readers with writings by Heyward that have been overshadowed by Porgy, and it also plumbs the complex sensibilities of the man behind that popular and enduring creation.

James M. Hutchisson's introduction relates aspects of Heyward's life to his creative growth and his gradual shift from staunch social conservatism to a liberal (though never revolutionary) advocacy of black rights. The reader collects ten essays by Heyward on topics ranging from an aesthetics of African American art to the history of Charleston. Heyward's poetry is represented by eighteen pieces from the collections Carolina Chansons, Skylines and Horizons, and Jasbo Brown and Selected Poems. Also included are three song lyrics Heyward wrote for the opera Porgy and Bess. The sampling of Heyward's fiction includes the stories "The Brute" and The Half Pint Flask and excerpts from the novels Porgy, Mamba's Daughters, and Peter Ashley.

Here is an ideal introduction to a figure whose inner conflicts were closely tied to those of his beloved South: struggles between privilege and poverty, black and white, and art for the few versus art for the masses.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820324852
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication date: 03/10/2003
Series: The Publications of the Southern Texts Society Series
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

DuBose Heyward (Author)
DUBOSE HEYWARD (1885–1940) was a central figure in the literary movement known as the Charleston Renaissance. A poet, novelist, and playwright, Heyward is best known for his 1925 novel Porgy—a work that was subsequently adopted as a play, opera, and film.

James M. Hutchisson (Editor)
JAMES M. HUTCHISSON is a professor of English at the Citadel. His books include DuBose Heyward: A Charleston Gentleman and the World of Porgy and Bess and The Rise of Sinclair Lewis, 1920-1930.

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