The work of Chester Himes is now undergoing a critical and popular reevaluation as it gradually comes back into print after years of neglect. His protest novels from the 1940s and early 1950s, his Harlem Domestic crime books, first published in France and later released in English in the United States, and his remarkable two-volume autobiography are now gaining a wider readership through their republication. Nonetheless, the critical writings on his work remain scattered and are often difficult to obtain. This collection of reviews and essays from both popular and academic sources traces the critical response to his work from 1946 to 1996 and thus sheds light on the critical reputation of one of the most distinguished but underrated African American authors. Himes has a wide international reputation, but this reference book focuses on those essays and reviews in the English language which provide a clearer assessment of his controversial literary standing in his native country, where his reputation has been most under debate.The book includes a balanced assessment of all his work, along with an interview with Himes's brother that offers some corrective commentary on his autobiography. The volume also provides a chronology, a checklist of his writings, and a bibliography.
The Critical Response to Chester Himes
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