Spring is nearly here ya’ll and we are here for it! It’s that time of year when we begin to focus on renewal and revitalization. When inspiration isn’t just a word, it’s all the words found in our March book club selection, Cane, written by Harlem Renaissance royalty and Washington DC native, Jean Toomer. It’s said that Toomers’ work “portrayed [African Americans] in an accurate and entirely human way, breaking the mold and laying the groundwork for how African Americans are depicted in literature” today.
Join the MahoganyBooks Bookclub featuring co-host Panama Jackson during the month of March as we read and discuss a Harlem Renaissance masterwork, Cane. The bookclub will meet to discuss this book at our Anacostia bookstore, located at 1231 Good Hope Rd, SE Washington, DC 20020 (inside of the Anacostia Arts Center) on April 1, 2022 at 6PM.
About the Book
The Harlem Renaissance writer’s innovative and groundbreaking novel depicting African American life in the South and North, with a foreword by National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree Zinzi Clemmons
Jean Toomer’s Cane is one of the most significant works to come out of the Harlem Renaissance, and is considered to be a masterpiece in American modernist literature because of its distinct structure and style. First published in 1923 and told through a series of vignettes, Cane uses poetry, prose, and play-like dialogue to create a window into the varied lives of African Americans living in the rural South and urban North during a time when Jim Crow laws pervaded and racism reigned.
While critically acclaimed and known today as a pioneering text of the Harlem Renaissance, the book did not gain as much popularity as other works written during the period. Fellow Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes believed Cane‘s lack of a wider readership was because it didn’t reinforce the stereotypes often associated with African Americans during the time, but portrayed them in an accurate and entirely human way, breaking the mold and laying the groundwork for how African Americans are depicted in literature.
This edition of Cane features a new introduction, suggestions for further reading, and notes by scholar George Hutchinson, and National Book Award Foundation 5 Under 35 novelist Zinzi Clemmons contributes a foreword.
Discussion Day Info
We will meet to discuss the book at our Anacostia bookstore, located at 1231 Good Hope Rd, SE Washington, DC 20020 (inside of the Anacostia Arts Center) on April 1, 2022 at 6PM.