Cover image for Jean Toomer : a critical evaluation
Jean Toomer : a critical evaluation
O'Daniel, Therman B. (Therman Benjamin), 1908-1986.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Howard University Press, 1988.
Physical Description:
xxi, 557 pages : portrait ; 25 cm
Reading Level:
1340 Lexile.
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PS3539.O478 Z68 1988 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Forty-six essays, including several first published in College Language Associaton Journal and in other publications that have been pioneers in Toomer research. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This thoughtfully structured collection of 46 essays about Jean Toomer's life and work is the third volume in the College Language Association's critical series on major Afro-American writers. Similar in general format to the earlier studies of Langston Hughes and James Baldwin, it examines Toomer's career within the broad context of American literary and cultural history. The biographical essays address all of the central concerns that have emerged in Toomer scholarship since the 1960s: his views on race and his resistance to being labeled a "Negro novelist"; his rejection of literature in favor of philosophy, mysticism, and spiritual self-realization; the frustrations of the latter part of his career. Other sections of the anthology are arranged thematically with special attention given to Toomer's relationships with various literary figures, different interpretations of Cane (1923), Toomer's interest in the thought of Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, his views of women, and his achievements as poet and playwright. These essays are valuable resources for scholars and accessible to serious undergraduates. Recommended for all academic libraries. -E. L. Newhall, Occidental College

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