cover of book

Jean Toomer & Harlem Renaissance
edited by Geneviève Fabre and Michel Feith
Rutgers University Press, 2000
Cloth: 978-0-8135-2845-8 | Paper: 978-0-8135-2846-5 | eISBN: 978-0-8135-5712-0
Library of Congress Classification PS3539.O478Z685 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.52


Jean Toomer's novel Cane has been hailed as the harbinger of the Harlem Renaissance and as a model for modernist writing, yet it eludes categorization and its author remains an enigmatic and controversial figure in American literature. The present collection of essays by European and American scholars gives a fresh perspective by using sources made available only in recent years, highlighting Toomer's bold experimentations, as well as his often ambiguous responses to the questions of his time.

Some of the essays achieve this through close readings of the text, leading to new and challenging interpretations of Toomer's transcendence of genres and styles. Others show how the publication of Cane and his later writings placed Toomer at the heart of contemporary ideological and artistic debates: race and identity, the negro writer and the white literary world, primitivism and modernism.

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