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Paperback Not Without Laughter Book

ISBN: 0486454487

ISBN13: 9780486454481

Not Without Laughter

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

A shining star of the Harlem Renaissance movement, Langston Hughes is one of modern literature's most revered African American authors. Although best known for his poetry, Hughes produced in Not Without Laughter a powerful and pioneering classic novel. This stirring coming-of-age tale unfolds in 1930s rural Kansas. A poignant portrait of African American family life in the early twentieth century, it follows the story of young Sandy Rogers as he grows...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


Such heart! I have read his poetry, but I had never read his prose. So smooth, so wonderful. I adore the characters. They followed me throughout the day. This is written so well, I really felt like I was right there. I also ran through a gamut of emotions while reading this. That's what a book should do - make me feel, make me think, make me wonder... This book did that for me.

Laughter and Living

Despite his considerable output of poetry, short stories and autobiographical work, this is Langston Hughes' only novel. It is the tremendously crafted story of Sandy, a black child of the 1920s in rural Kansas. In poignant tightly written chapters, Hughes' depicts various events in Sandy's life often slipping into the perspective of those closest to him. Sandy lives most his life with his strong-willed and deeply religious grandmother Aunt Hager. She is a benevolent woman who desires peaceful racial relations despite the overwhelming amount of racism and discrimination professed by both white and black community members. Sandy's mother Annjee is a loving and hard working woman eternally devoted to her husband Jimboy who is a good hearted man constantly on the move. Sandy's aunt Tempy is a well-off woman trying to immerse herself in white society and denigrating her own race in the process. His other aunt Harriett is a wilful woman who turns from the church for a different kind of existence. Through these expertly drawn characters, Sandy views their examples and he must make the choices that will effect his future. The novel is a tremendous chronicle of the struggle of a family to survive financially. It gives accounts of the psychological dilemma created by growing in a racially divided society and the diffuse joy in life that can be found even in troubling circumstances.Maya Angelou wrote of Not Without Laughter: "This book was written when preachers had to be poets and poets were preachers, because they needed to be available to all the people all the time." The messages this novel gives are not subtle. But, through its varied perspectives and eloquently written prose, it envelops the issues it preaches with emotionally edifying ideas. It leaves the reader with a feeling of deep connection to all the characters, particularly the beautiful Sandy in whom we invest our hope and trust to fulfil his potential to become a good, intelligent and strong man who does not feel limited by his racial heritage despite any restrictions society may attempt to place for him. Although it may be a shame that Hughes never wrote another novel as he aptly demonstrated his skill in this one, Not Without Laughter stands as shining work be a skilled artist.

A Book For All Races

I cannot stress enough how much I like this book, and all of Langston Hughes' writings. He is my favorite author, poet, playright and I always enjoy his work. No mattter what race you are (I myself happen to be white), you should be able to realize the social importance of all of Langston Hughes' work. This particular book really sheds light on the plight of so many black people that really isn't tought to young people. The progression that all the characters make in this book is really written quite well. I liked the fact that the book took place over a long period of time. Also, there are some events and plots that are unexpected, but definitely realistic.

Not Without Laughter

If you're not a Langston Hughes fan-once you read this book you'll be a fan for life. I guarantee you'll want to read everything he's ever written. Wait until you discover" Simple". Not without Laughter took me back in time to a small southern town and the loving, secure, life defining relationship I shared with my grandmother.

An amazing story of the influences and decisions in youth

Langston Hughes is a truly gifted writer. In this story he shows six different characters, all afflicted by racism and the numerous tactics each devises to combat its force. Their methods include,hating white america, enduring the blow, assimilating, laughing in the faces and then there is Sandy...He is slowing coming of age amidst all of these adults that he loves and admires, but soon he shall have to pick a path of his own. He knows that he must fight against the threat of racisim with out developing so much anger it consumes him as well. He knows must stand up for the race and culture he loves and some how advance his people with the power of his life. This story, is one of the best depictions of a black family that I have come across and can relate to. I miss Langston, and I love his legacy.

Not Without Laughter Mentions in Our Blog

Not Without Laughter in 9 Must-Read Books by Contemporary Black Authors
9 Must-Read Books by Contemporary Black Authors
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • February 05, 2020

For Black History month we've decided to bring you a series featuring great black writers from four distinct genres. This week, our focus is contemporary authors—from the Harlem Renaissance groundbreakers to exciting newcomers of today.

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