112th: Brent Hayes Edwards & Jean-Christophe Cloutier on Claude McKay
Join us Thursday, February 16th at 7pm for a reading and discussion of Amiable with Big Teeth, a newly discovered novel by Claude McKay, edited with an introduction by Jean-Christophe Cloutier and Brent Hayes Edwards.
A monumental literary event: the newly discovered final novel by seminal Harlem Renaissance writer Claude McKay, a rich and multilayered portrayal of life in 1930s Harlem and a historical protest for black freedom.
The unexpected discovery in 2009 of a completed manuscript of Claude McKay's final novel was celebrated as one of the most significant literary events in recent years. Building on the already extraordinary legacy of McKay's life and work, this colorful, dramatic novel centers on the efforts by Harlem intelligentsia to organize support for the liberation of fascist-controlled Ethiopia, a crucial but largely forgotten event in American history. At once a penetrating satire of political machinations in Depression-era Harlem and a far-reaching story of global intrigue and romance, Amiable with Big Teeth plunges into the concerns, anxieties, hopes, and dreams of African-Americans at a moment of crisis for the soul of Harlem and America.
Brent Hayes Edwards is a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. His books include The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism and Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination.
Jean-Christophe Cloutier is an assistant professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the editor of Jack Kerouac s original French writings, La vie est d hommage (2016), and translator of Kerouac s two French novellas in The Unknown Kerouac: Rare, Unpublished & Newly Translated Writings (2016), and his essay on the first collaboration between Ralph Ellison and Gordon Parks appears in Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem (2016).
Claude McKay (1889-1948), is widely regarded as one of the most important literary and political writers of the interwar period and the Harlem Renaissance. Born in Jamaica, he moved to the U.S. in 1912 to study at the Tuskegee Institute. In 1928, he published his most famous novel, Home to Harlem, which won the Harmon Gold Award for Literature. He also published two other novels, Banjo and Banana Bottom, as well as a collection of short stories, Gingertown, two autobiographical books, A Long Way from Home and My Green Hills of Jamaica, and a work of nonfiction, Harlem: Negro Metropolis. His Selected Poems was published posthumously, and in 1977 he was named the national poet of Jamaica.