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Who’s the real wolf?

Kevin Okoth: Black Marseille, 23 September 2021

Romance in Marseille 
by Claude McKay.
Penguin, 208 pp., £12.99, May 2020, 978 0 14 313422 0
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... When​ Claude McKay first visited Marseille he was immediately taken with the vagabond social life of the Vieux Port. In his early twenties he had moved from Jamaica to the US, where he spent a few years before setting off to travel Europe. He had reported for Sylvia Pankhurst’s Workers’ Dreadnought in London, attended the Fourth World Congress of the Communist International in Petrograd and Moscow, and visited the cabarets of Berlin ...

An UnAmerican in New York

Lewis Nkosi: The Harlem Renaissance, 24 August 2000

Winds Can Wake Up the Dead: An Eric Walrond Reader 
edited by Louis Parascandola.
Wayne State, 350 pp., $24.95, December 1998, 0 8143 2709 5
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... later wrote in his memoir:I had been a summer school student at UCLA and picked up a copy of [Claude] McKay’s poems in the main public library on the way home. I had not seen a review or heard any mention of the book, but the first sentence of the introduction made any such announcement unnecessary. ‘These poems ...

White Lies

James Campbell: Nella Larsen, 5 October 2006

In Search of Nella Larsen: A Biography of the Colour Line 
by George Hutchinson.
Harvard, 611 pp., £25.95, June 2006, 0 674 02180 0
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... the output was prodigious. Sterling Brown, Jessie Faucet, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay all published work in these years, and white writers, too, made their contribution: Eugene O’Neil (Emperor Jones, All God’s Chillun Got Wings), Sherwood Anderson (Dark Laughter), Dubose Heyward (Porgy). By then, the Renaissance and its ...

Did he leap?

Mendez: ‘Harlem Shuffle’, 16 December 2021

Harlem Shuffle 
by Colson Whitehead.
Fleet, 320 pp., £16.99, September 2021, 978 0 7088 9944 1
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... Shuffle is not really a heist novel, or the heir to earlier Harlem capers by Chester Himes and Claude McKay. It’s a subtle examination of what it is to disturb structures that have existed for generations, to shake oneself free from expectations based on race, gender and class, and slowly and deliberately to acquire the art of taking ...

A Great Wall to Batter Down

Adom Getachew, 21 May 2020

Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent 
by Priyamvada Gopal.
Verso, 607 pp., £25, June 2019, 978 1 78478 412 6
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... be taken up by a network of colonial subjects in the metropole. The Jamaican poet and communist Claude McKay believed that the years following the Russian Revolution, which were marked by a growth in radical labour movements and an insurgent anticolonialism, made possible new forms of solidarity. In a letter to Marcus Garvey, who was sceptical of the ...

Worth the Upbringing

Susan Pedersen: Thirsting for the Vote, 4 March 2021

Sylvia Pankhurst: Natural Born Rebel 
by Rachel Holmes.
Bloomsbury, 976 pp., £35, September 2020, 978 1 4088 8041 8
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... a reporter – Patricia Lynch, all of eighteen – to Dublin to cover the Easter Rising; hired Claude McKay (later a star of the Harlem Renaissance) and printed his condemnation of the racist reactions to the presence of France’s black soldiers in the Rhineland; reported in detail on Russian and European developments, and published works by ...

Slavery and Revenge

John Kerrigan, 22 October 2020

... black homonym of horror.’ And it runs into a piece about the Jamaican Harlem Renaissance poet Claude McKay in Paris: ‘The vengeful firmity of gradual snow in the threadbare gutters of your cleft being.’ Here are the growth points of an intellectually demanding output that explores black trauma from slavery to poverty through revolt and white ...

More than ever, and for ever

Michael Rogin: Beauvoir and Nelson Algren, 17 September 1998

Beloved Chicago Man: Letters to Nelson Algren 1947-64 
by Simone de Beauvoir, edited by Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir.
Gollancz, 624 pp., £25, August 1998, 0 575 06590 7
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America Day by Day 
by Simone de Beauvoir, translated by Carol Cosman.
California, 355 pp., $27.50, January 1999, 0 520 20979 6
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... was too old for love and that her body was dead, within a year Beauvoir had begun a liaison with Claude Lanzmann. This ‘incestuous’ love for a man 17 years younger than she was could never replace him, she told Algren: his failure to replace her was far more devastating. Algren already had evidence that the domesticity for which he longed was for him a ...

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