• Harlem Shadows (AmazonClassics Edition)

  • By: Claude McKay
  • Narrated by: Ron Butler
  • Length: 1 hr and 23 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Defiant, eloquent, and thoroughly modern, Claude McKay’s early collection of celebrated poems is widely recognized as having helped to spark the Harlem Renaissance. 

In Harlem Shadows, McKay gives precise and poignant expression to the injustices of white oppression in many forms. He also paints a vivid picture of Harlem at the dawn of its rebirth and shows the tremendous vitality of the neighborhood as well as the many threats it faced. And throughout, there is a deep sense of nostalgia, reflecting McKay’s strong feelings for his Jamaican homeland. According to McKay, however, these poems were intended to capture the energetic spirit of “uprooted black vagabonds” in a natural, direct, and honest style - and his success is especially evident in the startling elegance of his metaphors. The specificity of McKay’s language continues to shine in the present even as it illuminates the past. 

Revised edition: Previously published as Harlem Shadows, this edition of Harlem Shadows (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.

Public Domain (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Butler walks a fine line between passion and formality, revealing the poems' structures without stressing them. He invites us in, usually not dramatizing the text. In a few cases, particularly when McKay is talking about how much he misses his Jamaican homeland, Butler lets some raw emotion into his performance - but mostly he stays cool and controlled, much like the poetry itself.” (AudioFile Magazine)

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