Saturday, August 15, 2020

the last book I ever read (The Big Sea: An Autobiography by Langston Hughes, excerpt thirteen)

from The Big Sea: An Autobiography by Langston Hughes:

In the living room after dinner, high above Park Avenue with the lights of Manhattan shining below us, my hostess asked me about my plans for the future, my hopes, my ambitions, and my dreams. I told her I wanted to write a novel. She told me she would make it possible for me to write that novel. And she did by covering the expenses of my summer, so that I need do no other work during vacation.

That was the summer when I wrote a draft of Not Without Laughter. Then I went for a short vacation at Provincetown, where I saw the Wharf Players performing a version of Donald Ogden Stewart’s Parody Outline of History. I liked the wide sandy beaches of Cape Cod, but I did not like Provincetown very much, because it was hard for a Negro to find a place to sleep, and at night the mosquitoes were vicious.

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