Cover image for A Langston Hughes encyclopedia
A Langston Hughes encyclopedia
Ostrom, Hans A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
xxi, 495 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3515.U274 Z459 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
PS3515.U274 Z459 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

On Order



African-American author Langston Hughes was a leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance, and interest in his works increases daily. Though remembered primarily as a poet, Hughes was active in almost every genre imaginable. He wrote newspaper articles and short stories, contributed to drama and musical theater, and penned lyrics for the blues and popular songs. He also collaborated with some of the most gifted individuals of his time, including Zora Neale Hurston, Arna Bontemps, Kurt Weill, and Elmer Rice. Through hundreds of alphabetically arranged entries, this encyclopedia provides comprehensive coverage of his life and writings.

Although Hughes was remarkably versatile, poetry is indisputably the core of his achievement. Thus, this book includes separate entries for each of his more than 850 published poems and for collections of his poetry. His short stories and songs are also covered in detail. The encyclopedia additionally provides entries for numerous topics related to his life and writings, including Marxism, McCarthyism, Modernism, Jazz, and Religion, and for the many individuals who were associated with his literary career. Most of the entries close with brief bibliographies, and the volume closes with a list of works for further reading.

Author Notes

HANS OSTROM is Professor of English and Co-Director of African-American Studies at the University of Puget Sound. His other books include Langston Hughes: A Study of the Short Fiction (1993), the novel Three to Get Ready (1991), and Lives and Moments: An Introduction to Short Fiction (1990). With Wendy Bishop he edited Genre and Writing: Issues, Arguments, Alternatives (1997).

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Fascinating and ambitious, this encyclopedia aims to describe the life, times, and works of prolific, multifaceted poet and writer Langston Hughes. Recognized primarily for his poetry, Hughes also produced important works in other genres, including short fiction, novels, nonfiction essays, drama, children's literature, opera librettos, journalism, translations, and songs. Ostrom provides descriptive entries for more than 850 of Hughes's published poems, comments on his poetry collections, and separate entries for works in all other genres. Miscellaneous writings are covered, such as the album liner notes Hughes wrote for a 1964 recording by folksinger Joan Baez. Ostrom supplies bibliographic citations and painstaking descriptions of both form and content of the varied pieces of Hughes's extraordinary literary and creative output. Longer, highly readable entries on topics (e.g., the Harlem Renaissance, jazz, politics, sexuality), entries on themes and events figuring in Hughes's work, and brief biographies of important contemporaries are also supplied; each longer entry features a brief bibliography. Also included are a detailed chronology of Hughes's life, an unannotated general bibliography, and a thorough index. A carefully prepared, invaluable aid, highly recommended for students or researchers studying Hughes or American and African American poetry, literature, and literary movements. Thoroughly enjoyable reading. S. A. Vega Garcia Iowa State University

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Short Titles
The Encyclopedia
General Bibliography