Not Without Laughter
Not Without Laughter is a powerful classic novel. Although best known as a poet and pioneer of the Harlem Renaissance movement, Langston Hughes proves himself one of modern literature’s most revered and versatile African-American authors.
“To those who lived on the other side of the railroad and never realised the utter stupidity of the word “sin,” the Bottoms was vile and wicked. But to the girls who lived there, and the boys who pimped and fought and sold licker there, “sin” was a silly word that did not enter their heads. They had never looked at life through the spectacles of the Sunday-School. The glasses good people wore wouldn’t have fitted their eyes, for they hung no curtain of words between themselves and reality. To them, things were—what they were.”
This is a moving portrait of African-American family life in 1930s Kansas, following young Sandy Rogers as he comes of age. Sandy’s mother, Annjee, works as a housekeeper for a rich white family, while his father, traverses the country in search of work.
Not Without Laughter is a moving examination of growing up in a racially divided society. A rich and important work, Hughes deftly echoes the black American experience with this novel.