Below I’ll give you my selections for the best Langston Hughes books by a few categories. I will cover these and other great books more in depth later.
- 1. Selected Poems of Langston Hughes: A Classic Collection of Poems by a Master of American Verse (Vintage Classics) (1990)
- 2. I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey (American Century Series) (1993)
- 3. The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Classics) (1995)
- 4. The Ways of White Folks: Stories (Vintage Classics) (1990)
- 5. Not Without Laughter (Penguin Classics) (2018)
- 6. The Best of Simple: Stories (American Century) (1990)
- 7. The Big Sea: An Autobiography (American Century Series) (1993)
- 8. The Short Stories of Langston Hughes (1997)
- 9. The Dream Keeper and Other Poems (1996)
- 10. The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, 1899-1967: The Classic Anthology (1969)
- 11. Vintage Hughes (2004)
- 12. The Life of Langston Hughes: Volume I: 1902-1941, I, Too, Sing America (Life of Langston Hughes, 1902-1941) (2002)
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1. Selected Poems of Langston Hughes: A Classic Collection of Poems by a Master of American Verse (Vintage Classics) (1990)
With the publication of his first book of poems, , in 1926, Langston Hughes electrified readers and launched a renaissance in black writing in America. The poems Hughes wrote celebrated the experience of invisible men and women: of slaves who "rushed the boots of Washington"; of musicians on Lenox Avenue; of the poor and the lovesick; of losers in "the raffle of night." They conveyed that experience in a voice that blended the spoken with the sung, that turned poetic lines into the phrases of jazz and blues, and that ripped through the curtain separating high from popular culture. They…
In I Wonder as I Wander, Langston Hughes vividly recalls the most dramatic and intimate moments of his life in the turbulent 1930s.His wanderlust leads him to Cuba, Haiti, Russia, Soviet Central Asia, Japan, Spain (during its Civil War), through dictatorships, wars, revolutions. He meets and brings to life the famous and the humble, from Arthur Koestler to Emma, the Black Mammy of Moscow. It is the continuously amusing, wise revelation of an American writer journeying around the often strange and always exciting world he loves….
"The ultimate book for both the dabbler and serious scholar–. [Hughes] is sumptuous and sharp, playful and sparse, grounded in an earthy music–. This book is a glorious revelation."–Boston GlobeSpanning five decades and comprising 868 poems (nearly 300 of which have never before appeared in book form), this magnificent volume is the definitive sampling of a writer who has been called the poet laureate of African America–and perhaps our greatest popular poet since Walt Whitman. Here, for the first time, are all the poems that Langston Hughes published during his…
In these acrid and poignant stories, Hughes depicted black people colliding–sometimes humorously, more often tragically–with whites in the 1920s and ’30s….
5. Not Without Laughter (Penguin Classics) (2018)
When first published in 1930, Not Without Laughter established Langston Hughes as not only a brilliant poet and leading light of the Harlem Renaissance but also a gifted novelist. In telling the story of Sandy Rogers, a young African American boy in small-town Kansas, and of his family—his mother, Annjee, a housekeeper for a wealthy white family; his irresponsible father, Jimboy, who plays the guitar and travels the country in search of employment; his strong-willed grandmother Hager, who clings to her faith; his Aunt Tempy, who marries a rich man; and his Aunt Harriet, who…
Langston Hughes’s stories about Jesse B. Semple–first composed for a weekly column in the Chicago Defender and then collected in Simple Speaks His Mind, Simple Takes a Wife, and Simple Stakes a Claim–have been read and loved by hundreds of thousands of readers. In The Best of Simple, the author picked his favorites from these earlier volumes, stories that not only have proved popular but are now part of a great and growing literary tradition.Simple might be considered an Everyman for black Americans. Hughes himself wrote: “…these tales are about a great many people–although they are stories…
Introduction by Arnold Rampersad.Langston Hughes, born in 1902, came of age early in the 1920s. In The Big Sea he recounts those memorable years in the two great playgrounds of the decade–Harlem and Paris. In Paris he was a cook and waiter in nightclubs. He knew the musicians and dancers, the drunks and dope fiends. In Harlem he was a rising young poet–at the center of the “Harlem Renaissance.”Arnold Rampersad writes in his incisive new introduction to The Big Sea, an American classic: “This is American writing at its best–simpler than Hemingway; as…
8. The Short Stories of Langston Hughes (1997)
The Short Stories of Langston HughesThis collection of forty-seven stories written between 1919 and 1963–the most comprehensive available–showcases Langston Hughes’s literary blossoming and the development of his personal and artistic concerns. Many of the stories assembled here have long been out of print, and others never before collected. These poignant, witty, angry, and deeply poetic stories demonstrate Hughes’s uncanny gift for elucidating the most vexing questions of American race relations and human nature in general….
9. The Dream Keeper and Other Poems (1996)
Illus. in black-and-white. This classic collection of poetry is available in a handsome new gift edition that includes seven additional poems written after The Dream Keeper was first published. In a larger format, featuring Brian Pinkney’s scratchboard art on every spread, Hughes’s inspirational message to young people is as relevant today as it was in 1932….
Collects short stories by African American writers such as James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Ellison, and Alice Walker…
11. Vintage Hughes (2004)
Arguably the most important writer to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and ‘30s, Langston Hughes was a great poet and a shrewd and lively storyteller. His work blends elements of blues and jazz, speech and song, into a triumphant and wholly original idiom. includes the poems “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” “I, Too,” “The Weary Blues,” “America,” “Let America Be America Again,” “Dream Variations,” “Young Sailor,” “Afro-American Fragment,” “Scottsboro,” “The…
12. The Life of Langston Hughes: Volume I: 1902-1941, I, Too, Sing America (Life of Langston Hughes, 1902-1941) (2002)
February 1, 2002 marks the 100th birthday of Langston Hughes. To commemorate the centennial of his birth, Arnold Rampersad has contributed new Afterwords to both volumes of his highly-praised biography of this most extraordinary and prolific American writer. In young adulthood Hughes possessed a nomadic but dedicated spirit that led him from Mexico to Africa and the Soviet Union to Japan, and countless other stops around the globe. Associating with political activists, patrons, and fellow artists, and drawing inspiration from both Walt Whitman and the vibrant Afro-American culture, Hughes soon became the most original and revered of…
Best Langston Hughes Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf
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Zora and Langston: a story of friendship and betrayal
Author(s): Hughes, Langston;Hurston, Zora Neale;Taylor, Yuval
ID: 2605438, Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Year: 2019, Size: 15 Mb, Format: epub
MY DEAR BOY: carrie hughes's letters to langston hughes, 1926-1938
Author(s): Hughes, Carrie;Hughes, Langston;Carmeletta M. Williams;John Edgar Tidwell
ID: 2680202, Publisher: University of Georgia Press, Year: 2018;2013, Size: 4 Mb, Format: epub
Letters from Langston: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Red Scare and Beyond by Langston Hughes edited
Author(s): Hughes, Langston; Crawford, Evelyn Louise; Patterson, MaryLouise
ID: 2072899, Publisher: University of California Press, Year: 2016, Size: 3 Mb, Format: epub
Please note that this booklist is not absolute. Some books are really hot items according to Los Angeles Times, others are written by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.