The Short Stories of Langston Hughes
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This collection of forty-seven stories written between 1919 and 1963--the most comprehensive available--showcases Langston Hughes's literary blossoming and the development of his personal and artistic concerns. Many of the stories assembled here have long been out of print, and others never before collected. These poignant, witty, angry, and deeply poetic stories demonstrate Hughes's uncanny gift for elucidating the most vexing questions of American race relations and human nature in general.
somebody throws a bottle and hell breaks loose. And I comes on out … Paddy is carrying the Little Virgin back to the ship now and the kid’s cryin’ like a baby and sayin’ over and over, ‘No gentleman would hit a woman. No gentleman would hit a woman.’ He’s drunk. But Jesus! All that fuss over a African gal! And Mike and the Virgin being such good friends, too … Licker’ll cause anything—the rotten slop … Let’s go down the road and get another drink.” And the carpenter took me jovially by the arm.
all in one. Between them, they made ten or twelve dollars a week, not bad in those times. Suits on credit—three dollars down. Two-tone shoes. Near-silk shirts. Key chains—without keys. Who cares about keys? You wear the chains. String ‘em across your breast! Hang ’em from your pockets. Man, they shine like silver! Shine like gold—them chains! You can’t wear keys. “Boy, you ought to see my gal! Three quarters cat—and didn’t come here on no freight train neither,” said Terry, putting a stocking
woman, sure enough. “Boy, lend me your honey-brown tie, will you?” “Aw-right,” said Sling. Tonight, Sling’s thoughts were on his ladylove, too, tired as he was. Dark and Indian-looking, his particular girl. She didn’t work much, neither. Just rested. She made her living—somehow. Wore a rabbit-skin coat and a gold wristwatch … Sure, she come to town on a freight train—but she rode in taxis on rainy nights! Had a nice room. Had a good heart. Liked an old long tall boy by the name of Sling, with
went to the heart, the other outstretched toward the flag. Three thousand voices spoke. Among them was the voice of a dark girl whose cheeks were suddenly wet with tears, “ … one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” “That is the land we must make,” she thought. HEAVEN TO HELL THERE we was dancin’ up the steps of glory, my husband, Mackenzie, and me, our earthly troubles over, when who should we meet comin’ down but Nancy Smothers! “That hussy!” I said. “How did she get up
and children; missionaries waiting for papers or news; and those little boy guides one sees in so many sea-towns sent to pick up sailors to bring to the houses of prostitution. Port of Dakar on a day when the sun blazes. Port of Dakar when the sun has fallen into the sea and darkness comes. The tiny garden café in M. Brousard’s Grand Hotel de Nice et Lyon. Native music, a fountain, black waiters, smoke, wine, and the stars. A crowd of boisterous seamen about the tables, a dozen little dark girls