And Bid Him Sing: A Biography of Countée Cullen

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Product Details
University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.1 X 1.0 inches | 1.2 pounds

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About the Author

Charles Molesworth is coauthor of Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher and the editor of The Works of Alain Locke. He writes a regular art column for the quarterly, Salmagundi.

"At last! One can only be grateful to Charles Molesworth for this concise yet comprehensive biography of Countée Cullen, the shooting star of the Harlem Renaissance. This book sets the facts straight about a man whose childhood and inner life have been obscure despite his fame. More importantly, Molesworth reveals the complex intersections of racial loyalty and aestheticism, spirituality and sexuality, representativeness and individuality in the life and work of Harlem's black prodigy, one of America's most admired poets of the 1920s."
--George B. Hutchinson "author of The Harlem Renaissance in Black and White"
"Countée Cullen was a commanding literary figure whose accomplishments have often been diminished in studies of the Harlem Renaissance that emphasize his role as an antitype to Langston Hughes. Charles Molesworth rights this wrong in his fine biography whose subject is not only the struggles and triumphs of a singular American poet, but also the exciting social and literary world that produced him."
--Emily Bernard "author of Carl Van Vechten and the Harlem Renaissance"
"Meticulously researched and engagingly written, Charles Molesworth's And Bid Him Sing is a carefully, sympathetically, and thoughtfully drawn biography of Countée Cullen. This book is an original, compelling, and important contribution to the scholarship on the Harlem Renaissance. I strongly recommend it."
--James A. Miller "George Washington University"
"As the first full-length critical biography of Countée Cullen, And Bid Him Sing is Charles Molesworth's scrupulous and authoritative account of a masterful poet's family background, higher education, literary proclivities, public prominence, racial anxieties, and controversial legacy. Cullen's life and literature, we learn, serve as a fascinating window to a generation of African Americans, including the Harlem Renaissance, trying not only to search for a usable cultural past but also to forge a modern identity in the first half of the twentieth century."
--Gene Andrew Jarrett "author of Representing the Race: A New Political History of African American Lit"
"This fine new biography may help restore this queer genius to his proper place as an American original. Cullen was a man of enormous talent and courage who unfailingly devoted his life to his art and his people while retaining the individualism that made him a unique figure in our literary history."--Doug Ireland "Gay City News"
"Charles Molesworth's book is an important addition to the scholarship on Countée Cullen."--Martha E. Stone "Gay & Lesbian Review"
"Countée Cullen was a quiet literary giant of the Harlem Renaissance whose proper measure is finally taken within these pages. As a poet, Cullen reveled in rhythm and sound. As a man, he grappled with inner conflicts and concealment. And Bid Him Sing is an elegant biography that attends both to the man and to his magnificent work. Charles Molesworth has written Cullen back to life for our times."--Adam Bradley "author of Ralph Ellison in Progress"