I WONDER AS I WANDER by Langston Hughes


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An autobiographical travelogue from the Negro poet and writer should come as a revealing gift to those who have known his other work. It is an amusing and often deeply serious account of the interchange between himself and people and countries- personal and international adventures that have filled his life as a true man of the world. The period of which Hughes writes is in the thirties and encompasses the years from the start of the depression to the time when he was a correspondent in the Spanish Civil War. All of it illustrates character and principle inductively, by colorfully descriptive and conversational narratives. On an early trip to Cuba, Hughes looked to a lifting of the color bar. Though he found prejudice there too he was freer by far than in his own home and leads us to enjoy with him the artists he met and the feelings of a people whom he describes through their music and the good times they have. At home in the early Thirties Mary McLeod Bethune helped him start on a reading tour through Negro colleges and these trips are sharply indicative of what segregation means. His further and very extended trips through Russia and the east on a journey that took him around the world as far more than a traveler, carry the same interest. Hughes has the knack of living in and being a part of wherever he is. His acquaintances too-Arthur Koestler, Cartier Bresson, Covarrubias- become new people. A book concerned with the individual, with social issues and with art as it is a part of these things will bring its rewards as a documentary and an important diary.

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 1956
Publisher: Rinehart