Review by Choice Review
With this collection of 16 essays, Hutchinson (Indiana Univ.) makes an important contribution to the venerable Cambridge companion sequence. In his insightful introduction, the editor summarizes the history and complexities of the term "Harlem Renaissance" within the decades-long evolution of the "Old Negro" into the "New Negro" and sets the stage for the dialogue that arises through these artfully arranged essays. Twelve of the essays deal with major authors, shedding fresh light on familiar texts. For example, A.B. Christa Schwarz contributes an essay on transgressive sexuality, looking at homosexuality and bisexuality in the lives and writings of authors including Claude McKay, Wallace Thurman, and Angelina Weld Grimke. This essay pairs neatly with Charles Scruggs's analysis of sexual desire in Nella Larsen and Rudolph Fisher. Other essays discuss women's poetry, satire, drama, and folk literature. Including a time line of literary, political, and social events, this volume would make an excellent companion to New Voices on the Harlem Renaissance: Essays on Race, Gender, and Literary Discourse, ed. by Australia Tarver and Paula Barnes (CH, Sep'06, 44-0173). Though it focuses on the literature of the Harlem Renaissance, the volume invites inquiry beyond the realm of literature. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. C. A. Bily Adrian College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.