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The Short Stories (The Collected Works of Langston Hughes #15)

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  448 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
The Short Stories of Langston Hughes

This 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,
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 15th 1997 by Hill and Wang (first published August 31st 1996)
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The Color Purple by Alice WalkerTheir Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale HurstonThe Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm XBeloved by Toni MorrisonInvisible Man by Ralph Ellison
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,139)
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Aaron Wolfson
Feb 14, 2015 Aaron Wolfson rated it it was amazing
A fine collection. Poetic, as you'd expect. Hughes focused on the difficult circumstances of persons of color, dealing with poverty, discrimination, and interactions with white people.

The standout is the story of a high school girl who wins a scholarship. This is one of the best stories I've ever read. You simply have to read this. It's freely available as a PDF.
Jo
Apr 09, 2015 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ah-maz-ing! Truly a craftsmen with the pen. He makes you feel sadness and outrage and happiness occasionally all at the same time.
Carl Mcdonald
Nov 25, 2012 Carl Mcdonald rated it it was amazing
Every story makes me wish there was a full version of the short stories. Very great book. Full of variety. I actually read this book twice
Frank
Mar 15, 2015 Frank rated it really liked it
This collection will make a fine addition to the independent reading list for my Reading and Writing Fiction class. The stories, mostly brief, have the feeling of magazine pieces from the first half of the 20th century, a sort of Guy de Maupassant formality. Whenever I would begin to think that they were merely mass market products churned out by a writer whose real talents lay in the production of other genres, however, these stories surprised me with an unexpected poignant or satirical twist. ...more
Nina autajay
At first glance, "On the Road" is an interpretation of The Biblical story of The Good Samaritan. A man walking through the snow looking for a place to stay for the night gets turned down by a pastor and then gets beat by the police after he tries to find shelter in a church. You’d think that the third person to cross his path would be the Good Samaritan. Instead, a literally cold stone Jesus walks in his direction and then they part ways. Christ replies with “You had to pull the church down to g ...more
Serge
Jun 24, 2014 Serge rated it it was amazing
Loved it--I had no idea about this writer until recently. The style of writing is (to me) sublime. While it is nominally about black Americans in the early-mid last century, it's really about all of us, and how most of us go through life almost blindly, with just the occasional bursts of real insight into who we are. All his stories are intensely human and rewarding. (I also suspect Toni Morrison might owe at least a bit to Langston Hughes, who like her, was way ahead of his time.)
Marc Kohlman
Jul 09, 2016 Marc Kohlman rated it really liked it
Very resonant and incredibly human stories. I was assigned to read this book in a college course on Hughes work two years ago but did not have the time to. Hughes wrote with such direct and satirical insight, sensitivity and ideas on issues at the core of 20th century US society and his own experiences as an African American. Eleven select stories from this book were of particular interest to me which I will center on in this review. "Slave on the Block" relates to Hughes resentment of how Afric ...more
Mickey
Sep 14, 2011 Mickey rated it really liked it
Like any short story collection, this contains hits and misses. Looking at writings from his entire career, you can see some progression in his work. However, I think he suffers from a short-sightedness that prevents him from being exceptional. He may be one of those authors who represents a certain time and is of interest to historians but no one else. I wish he had tried for more universal themes.
Shianne Cokely
Feb 25, 2015 Shianne Cokely rated it liked it
I liked the insight the book gives on who Langston Hughes was. In the past I haven't read a lot of poetry either so I enjoyed something new. Could've had a little better illustrations.
Amanda
Aug 06, 2008 Amanda rated it liked it
I, personally, think that Langston Hughes' poems far outshine his stories. Although the stories were good, they just seemed kind of flat, I'm not totally sure why. They just all seemed kind of detatched. I also dislike short story collections when all of the stories are the same. All of his stories were sad tales of racial oppression, which totally makes sense, but whoever collected these should have inserted some happy-ish ones.
Wizzard
Jul 29, 2008 Wizzard rated it it was amazing
I love the stories in this book. Langston Hughes tells a range of Depression-era stories of America that travel from down South to the midwest to New York city (of course). These stories tell a diversity of lives and lifestyles. The stories are well written, not over written. Reading this I can appreciate some differences in literary style from short stories written today.
Ashlie
Feb 25, 2009 Ashlie added it
This is an interesting read. I was vaguely familiar with the poetry of Hughes but not his stories. Since I normally read novels it was nice to take on a book where I didn't have to wait until the very end for the "pay-off" of story completion.

The themes centered around poverty, race, struggle, and youth. Overall, I was intrigued by the material.
Angela
Jan 24, 2012 Angela rated it really liked it
I have never read any of Langston Hughes' poetry but I have loved every short story I've come across. He can bring an entire world to life in just a few pages. His works are the only time I have to force myself to slow down and read each word, because all of them are so important in creating the rich fabric.
Rasma
Dec 23, 2013 Rasma rated it it was amazing
If I had never read any other short stories (and I love short stories) this collection would have sufficed. I am grateful for the insight he offers into humanity, culture, and himself.
Msbossy
Dec 07, 2010 Msbossy rated it really liked it
Read and Currently re-reading. Love Langston Hughes and this is a complete collection, with never before published stories as well as stories from "ways of White Folks."
Rosemary
Jan 01, 2015 Rosemary rated it really liked it
Shelves: quit
Great collection of short stories found on my parent's bookshelves-good reading while relaxing in the Valley of the Sun.
Jola Washington
May 28, 2009 Jola Washington rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite book. I read it almost every year. It's that good and thoughtfull. He was truly a talented writer
Dayla
Feb 12, 2013 Dayla rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, literature
Love Langston Hughes! Great ghost stories by LH should be read to every fourth and fifth grader. Magic!
Demisty Bellinger
Apr 09, 2011 Demisty Bellinger rated it it was amazing
Some of the best short stories I've ever read. His poetic style comes through very well in his prose.
Charlane Brady
Mar 04, 2012 Charlane Brady marked it as to-read
just read the short story Thank You, M'am and I am looking forward to reading more short stories.
Frances
Apr 18, 2015 Frances rated it it was amazing
I had no idea he did short stories...I read this a few years back and enjoyed it very much!
Jacob
Jan 11, 2010 Jacob rated it really liked it
If you'd like a little white guilt with a smile on your face, pick it up.
Curly
Aug 20, 2008 Curly rated it liked it
always a good source when you need a quick harlem renaissance hit
Marcy8
May 30, 2008 Marcy8 rated it it was amazing
Insightful. Beautiful prose.
Jizzle Manhattan
Jan 14, 2012 Jizzle Manhattan rated it it was amazing
I can dig it!
Erin Patton
Erin Patton marked it as to-read
Sep 21, 2016
Sandra
Sandra marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2016
Katherine Vance
Katherine Vance rated it really liked it
Sep 14, 2016
BookDB
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Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, short story writer, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that "Harlem was in vogue."
More about Langston Hughes...

Other Books in the Series

The Collected Works of Langston Hughes (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • The Poems 1921-1940
  • The Poems: 1941-1950
  • The Poems: 1951-1967
  • The Novels: Not Without Laughter and Tambourines to Glory
  • The Plays to 1942: Mulatto to The Sun Do Move
  • Gospel Plays, Operas, and Later Dramatic Works
  • The Early Simple Stories
  • The Later Simple Stories
  • Essays on Art, Race, Politics, and World Affairs
  • Fight for Freedom and Other Writings on Civil Rights

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