Buy or skip? The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Collected Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar

Edited by Herbert Woodward Martin, Ronald Primeau and Gene Andrew Jarrett

University of Ohio Press

424 pages; $57.95

Dunbar was in his early twenties at the turn of the last century when he became America’s most famous black poet. He lived only 10 years, but produced a huge amount of poetry and short stories during that time. He also wrote four novels. These novels are somewhat obscured by the fact that Dunbar is still remembered primarily as a fine poet. Now Ohio University Press has released a collection of all four Dunbar novels in one volume. This collection shows that he was on his way to becoming a great novelist when he died in 1906. All four of these novels were written when Dunbar was in his twenties. The first three (The Uncalled, The Love of Landry and The Fanatics) reveal an artist learning the ropes. The latest, The Sport of the Gods, marks a rising mastery of form and style. It is a dark tale of injustice and broken lives, told by Dunbar with conviction and realism. Vick Mickunas, Dayton Daily News

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Publication date:

Mar 16 2010 • 12 years ago • 1 minute read

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