Cover image for The art and imagination of Langston Hughes
The art and imagination of Langston Hughes
Miller, R. Baxter.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lexington, KY : University Press of Kentucky, 1989.
Physical Description:
ix, 149 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3515.U274 Z684 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



" Langston Hughes was one of the most important American writers of his generation and one of the most versatile, producing poetry, fiction, drama, and autobiography. In this innovative study, R. Baxter Miller explores Hughes's life and art in an effort to broaden our appreciation of his contribution to American letters.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In the wake of Rampersad's recently completed biography The Life of Langston Hughes [BKL N 1 86; Ag 88], Miller offers a biocritical reading of Hughes' writings. Concentrating on the poems and a selection of the stories, Miller neatly supplements Rampersad's study with his own exploration of the American poet's life. This literary analysis delves into the conditions of Hughes' own experiences to explore the characteristic themes of the writer's art and to examine how his imagination was fired by black folk culture and his memories of the women in his life. Notes, bibliography; index. --John Brosnahan

Choice Review

Hughes's literary imagination is explored here through "the tropes and rhetorical devices" by which "he mediated between social limitation and the dream of freedom." Each of the five chapters in Miller's study focuses on a genre to show that Hughes's greatness is that "he restored lyricism to a rite of cultural celebration." Miller (University of Tennessee), author of Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks: A Reference Guide (CH, Jun'79) and editor of Black American Literature and Humanism (CH, Feb'82), selectively examines Hughes's writing, unlike Arnold Rampersad whose The Life of Langston Hughes (2v., CH, Feb'87, Feb'89) is inclusive and chronological in organization. Miller's style is philosophical and metaphorical. Three of the five chapters are revisions of previously published articles. In the conclusion, Miller writes, "An inquiry into five genres revealed through successive windows as dimensional frames opened individually on Harlem and the universe, develops finally into a holistic assessment of his literary imagination." This short book has an introduction, several pages of chapter notes, a helpful selected bibliography, and an index. This study would be most useful to graduate students with some prior knowledge of Hughes and his writing. -D. S. Isaacs, Fordham University