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The Short Stories of Langston Hughes

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  381 ratings  ·  20 reviews
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, and deeply poetic stories demonstra ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 15th 1997 by Hill and Wang (first published August 31st 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 904)
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Carl Mcdonald
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
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
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Great collection of short stories found on my parent's bookshelves-good reading while relaxing in the Valley of the Sun.
Jola Washington
This is my favorite book. I read it almost every year. It's that good and thoughtfull. He was truly a talented writer
Love Langston Hughes! Great ghost stories by LH should be read to every fourth and fifth grader. Magic!
Demisty Bellinger
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.
I had no idea he did short stories...I read this a few years back and enjoyed it very much!
If you'd like a little white guilt with a smile on your face, pick it up.
always a good source when you need a quick harlem renaissance hit
Insightful. Beautiful prose.
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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...
The Collected Poems Selected Poems The Ways of White Folks Not Without Laughter The Best of Simple

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