Harlem Renaissance Novels: The Library of America Collection

Harlem Renaissance Novels: The Library of America Collection
Edited by Safia Zafar

In little more than a decade during the 1920s and 30s, a new generation of African American writers, artists, musicians, and intellectuals based mostly in upper Manhattan burst through aesthetic conventions with unprecedented openness and daring. Perhaps no one was more central to the creative upheaval that became known as the Harlem Renaissance than a group of novelists who were determined to describe their own lives and their own world frankly and without compromise. Now, for the first time in this definitive two-volume set, their greatest works are presented in a handsome collector’s edition featuring authoritative texts and a chronology, biographies, and notes reflecting the latest scholarship. Together, the nine works in Harlem Renaissance Novels form a vibrant collective portrait of African American culture in a moment of tumultuous change and tremendous hope. “In some places the autumn of 1924 may have been an unremarkable season,” wrote Arna Bontemps, one of the novelists in the collection. “In Harlem it was like a foretaste of paradise.”

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