Gay Rebel of the Harlem Renaissance: Selections from the Work of Richard Bruce Nugent (Paperback)
  • Gay Rebel of the Harlem Renaissance: Selections from the Work of Richard Bruce Nugent (Paperback)
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Gay Rebel of the Harlem Renaissance: Selections from the Work of Richard Bruce Nugent (Paperback)

(author), (editor)
£20.99
Paperback 312 Pages / Published: 23/05/2002
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Richard Bruce Nugent (1906-1987) was a writer, painter, illustrator, and popular bohemian personality who lived at the center of the Harlem Renaissance. Protege of Alain Locke, roommate of Wallace Thurman, and friend of Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, the precocious Nugent stood for many years as the only African-American writer willing to clearly pronounce his homosexuality in print. His contribution to the landmark publication FIRE!!, "Smoke, Lilies and Jade," was unprecedented in its celebration of same-sex desire. A resident of the notorious "Niggeratti Manor," Nugent also appeared on Broadway in Porgy (the 1927 play) and Run, Little Chillun (1933)
Thomas H. Wirth, a close friend of Nugent's during the last years of the artist's life, has assembled a selection of Nugent's most important writings, paintings, and drawings-works mostly unpublished or scattered in rare and obscure publications and collected here for the first time. Wirth has written an introduction providing biographical information about Nugent's life and situating his art in relation to the visual and literary currents which influenced him. A foreword by Henry Louis Gates Jr. emphasizes the importance of Nugent for African American history and culture.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822329138
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 553 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Nugent is one of the best-known unknowns of the Harlem Renaissance-widely quoted by its chroniclers and revered by people interested in black gay history. By restoring his place in history and making his work widely available for scrutiny, this book performs an invaluable service. Wirth's introduction also provides an extraordinary tour of the gay side of the Renaissance and vivid glimpses of bohemian life in Harlem and the arts circles Nugent moved in."-George Chauncey, author of Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World
"One of the key figures in both the creative world of the Harlem Renaissance and the complex underground world of gay culture, Bruce Nugent at last speaks here for himself."from the foreword, by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
"Gay Rebel of the Harlem Renaissance marks the first time so much information about Nugent has been collected between two covers . . . . [T]he sheer volume of Nugent's work, some published for the first time here, would warrant such a collection." -- Terrance Heath * Lambda Book Report *
"A must-have. For students of African-American literature, it is the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle that comprises black history in the 20th century. For lovers of gay literature, it is a rare glimpse of early work that does not share the same morbidity that so often characterized Nugent's Caucasian counterparts." -- Anthony Glassman * Gay People's Chronicle *
"[F]ascinating. . . . This anthology of [Nugent's] artistic output is of major importance." -- Raoul Abdul * Amsterdam News *
"Rebel offers a much-needed fleshing out of Nugent's contribution to the Harlem Renaissance. In addition to an informative introduction by its editor, Rebel collects, along with the few previously published pieces, a great deal of unpublished (and sometimes incomplete) writing. . . . Gay Rebel of the Harlem Renaissance provides a more vivid glimpse of queer Harlem than has emerged in any other writing by its inhabitants. More importantly, this collection offers us a language of same-sex desire and community largely freed from our contemporary assumptions about such things." -- Mason Stokes * Callaloo *
"[A] new collection of the writings and drawings of Richard Bruce Nugent, that most famously 'unfamous' member of the Harlem Renaissance. . . . Nugent's story has come to be recognized as the first affirmative, unblushing statement of homosexual desire in African-American literature-thus the appeallation 'gay rebel.'" -- Robert Reid-Pharr * Chronicle Review *
"Richard Bruce Nugent, one of the lesser-known members of the Renaissance, had the distinction of being the only openly gay member of its ranks. . . . Wirth's lengthy introduction nicely lays the groundwork for understanding Nugent's life, his literary forebears, and his influences in the Harlem Renaissance. . . . Gay Rebel also includes a generous collection of both black-and-white and glossy color reproductions of Nugent's drawings and paintings. . . . This book is a fascinating, well-researched, and loving tribute to an artist worth remembering."
-- Martha E. Stone * Gay & Lesbian Review *

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